Austin, Texas’ James McMurtry Unveils Details for First Studio Album In Six Years
The wait is finally over -- Austin-based alt-country mastermind James McMurtry is preparing to release his first studio album in six years. ‘Complicated Game’ hits store shelves on Feb. 24 and will follow-up 2008’s highly-acclaimed ‘Just Us Kids.’ Fans can get the first taste of new McMurtry music in the audio player below.
“The lyrical theme is mostly about relationships,” the son of novelist Larry McMurtry says in a statement released today. “It’s also a little about the big old world vs. the poor little farmer or fisherman. I never make a conscious decision about what to write.”
So what can fans expect from ‘Complicated Game’? “The label head wanted more acoustic ... we built everything as we went so we ended up with more acoustic guitar,” he explains. “We just played whatever sounded right for a given song, but we weren’t necessarily saying this is an acoustic record.”
Yesterday (Nov. 4), the Wall Street Journal premiered the lead single (which is hardly acoustic) from the new LP, ‘How’m I Gonna Find You Now.’ Check it out:
While it certainly sounds like nothing he’s done before, ‘How’m I Gonna Find You Now’ feels right at home in McMurtry’s catalog; perhaps that’s one mark of his genius -- he can create a brand-new sound while harkening images of his entire career. And on top of that, the new song is rooted in his innate storytelling ability. Much like Lou Reed, McMurtry talks when he sings, telling a story and transporting the listener to his newly created landscape.
For the uninitiated, McMurtry’s first album, ‘Too Long In the Wasteland,’ was released in 1989 and produced by John Mellencamp. In 1996, he was nominated for a Grammy award for his music video for ‘Where’d You Hide the Body.’
1997’s ‘It Had to Happen’ picked up the American Indie Award for ‘Best Americana Album.’ Enter the 21st century and the accolades didn't slow down. With ‘Childish Things,’ his seventh studio album, McMurtry enjoyed spending six weeks at No. 1 on the Americana Music Radio chart -- that was followed by the record (and its crowning achievement, ‘We Can’t Make It Here’) receiving the Americana Music Award for ‘Album’ and ‘Song of the Year.’
With all of this critical attention, you might be asking yourself: “Why haven’t I heard of McMurtry before?”
Regardless of the answer, the time is now to dive into his prolific career and explore some of the most honest music written in the last 25 years. If ‘Complicated Game’ is your first entry into his world, welcome. We think you’ll enjoy the journey.
'Complicated Game' will be released via Complicated Records (yes, we know). You can pick up the limited edition 7-inch vinyl of 'How'm I Gonna Find You Now' -- as well as get his current tour itinerary -- and McMurtry's official website here.