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James McMurtry


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Fort Worth TX, United States (1989 – present)

James McMurtry (born March 18, 1962 in Fort Worth, Texas) is a Texas rock/Texas Country singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader and occasional actor (Daisy Miller, Lonesome Dove). He performs as James McMurtry And The Heartless Bastards with veteran bandmates and rhythm section Darren Hess and Ronnie Johnson (not to be confused with the Cincinnati, OH, band Heartless Bastards).

The son of acclaimed author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment), James grew up on a steady diet of Johnny Cash and Roy Acuff records. His first album, Too Long in the Wasteland (released in 1989), was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill. In 1996, McMurtry received a Grammy nomination for his Longform Music Video of Where’d You Hide The Body. 1997’s It Had To Happen received the American Indie Award for Best Americana Album.

In 2004, McMurtry released the universally-lauded Live in Aught-Three on Compadre Records. 2005’s Childish Things garnered some of the highest critical praise of McMurtry’s career and spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006. In September 2006, Childish Things and “We Can’t Make It Here” won the Americana Music Awards for Album and Song of the Year, respectively. McMurtry received more Americana Music Award nominations for 2008’s Just Us Kids. This album marked his highest Billboard 200 chart position in more than 19 years.


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  • u2theedge

    surely, his new album is fantastic

    15 Jun 11:39am Reply
  • emergingsynergy

    Yes.... the new album, "Complicated Game, is amazing in it's sensitivity to circumstance and expression of situation... He speaks for so many...

    13 Jun 6:28pm Reply
  • stilldirrtyja

    his new album is AMAZING!

    4 Apr 6:56am Reply
  • alex_lego

    Complicated Game - Brilliant

    26 Mar 8:59pm Reply
  • OCD4CDz

    singer songwriter slayer of words

    9 Mar 5:16am Reply
  • radio_face

    In a class all by himself. A new old soul!

    28 Oct 2014 Reply
  • hoghed

    First heard "We Can't Make It Here" on an 'underground' radio show from Little Rock AR... was a fan by the end of the third verse. Saw 3 shows in less than 15 months. Great storyteller. Great musician. You MUST see this guy.

    10 Mar 2013 Reply

    hi! bop away!!grooveshark!

    23 Aug 2012 Reply
  • GreatBarcia

    Lost in the backyard...

    4 Mar 2012 Reply
  • GreatBarcia

    Hurricane party, what a fantastic song

    25 Feb 2012 Reply
  • cagney1950

    Created a John Hiatt radio station on last fm and one of the first songs was Just Us Kids, loved it and it introduced me to McMurtry. I think I have created my favorite radio station yet with John Hiatt and the songs that come up.

    10 Feb 2012 Reply
  • emergingsynergy

    I see you're in Miami soon. Come to Tallahassee!

    24 Jan 2012 Reply
  • HardRokas

    11 Dec 2011 Reply
  • Druid66

    He's what they used to call a troubadour - emphasis on the "true" part. He writes and sings these epic songs of desolation and struggle, and plays this blistering guitar on them. And there's nothing "heartless" about his backing band, either!

    15 Aug 2011 Reply
  • madamimadam

    I saw James in Annapolis, Maryland, Wednesday evening. The usual brilliant show! Opening act was Jonny Burke (the second time I've seen him open for JMcM); he was very good, too. Strap them kids in!

    17 Jun 2011 Reply
  • naldopb


    7 Jun 2011 Reply
  • gandalf776

    I had learned about Texas Music several years ago my brother played guitar most of his life. he had moved to Denton Texas. where he met several of the artists that were making this style popular. last night i had the great fortune to see James McMurtry live at the All Souls Coffee House in Tulsa Oklahoma. James played a 12 string Taylor and a 6 string Taylor guitars. he really could make them sing. his song writing is what i would term "Universal Truths" . his mixture of humor,insight,story telling, and sensitivity can give hope to those of us that can see the picture he paints with music. James McMurtry is amazing musician.

    29 Jan 2011 Reply
  • slappedhappy

    He comes by it naturally as father is Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove being just one of his works.

    6 Dec 2010 Reply
  • gilliananne

    Great sound : )

    25 Aug 2010 Reply
  • errorb

    woah man, you are soooo good. you need millions of listeners. you put sugar on my day full of inside work and outside rain. cheer up.

    16 Jun 2010 Reply
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