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James McMurtry|The Horses and the Hounds

The Horses and the Hounds

James McMurtry

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It shouldn't surprise anyone that James McMurtry, son of novelist Larry "Lonesome Dove" McMurtry, continues his excellent storytelling on his 12th album. In another life, McMurtry could have been a straight poet, one prone like his dad to getting up and giving readings of his lyrical brilliance. While his father's fame has certainly assisted his career, this McMurtry has the music in him, a true folkie with rock and roll tendencies. The Texas troubadour's specialty is detailed miniatures, populated with flawed but finely drawn characters, some of whom clearly draw on incidents and characters from his own life.

On The Horses and The Hounds, McMurtry has assembled an A team of the great David Grissom (Joe Ely, John Mellencamp, Dixie Chicks) and Charlie Sexton, who's spent much of the last decade playing with Bob Dylan. The lyrical flourishes begin immediately in the travelogue opener where he moves from canola fields in Southern Alberta, through the suicide doors on his old, white Lincoln in Santa Cruz, to "Brooklyn before it went hipster." In "Jackie," about a doomed female trucker, he turns a discussion of everyday ground cover into gold with this choppy but musical couplet of Great Plains versification: "Half a section in the short grass at the foot of the plains/ Grows broomweed in the dry times, ragweed when it rains." The inevitable cowboy ode, "Vaquero," sung partially in Spanish, benefits from fellow Texan scion Bukka Allen (son of Terry) on accordion. While guitars move to the front of the mix in the title track, the road song "What's The Matter" where "Blood pressure's up, I gotta take pills/ If the food don't kill me, the alcohol will," is the album's bouncy, upbeat single. Fortunately, McMurtry's intricate tales of human emotional entanglement are so engrossing that the similar slow ballad-like tempos of everything here are almost unnoticeable. Producer Ross Hogarth whose extensive discography—much of it as an engineer—includes work with everyone from Céline Dion to Van Halen, brings a simple uncomplicated sound to the proceedings. McMurtry's personal and neverending story continues with style. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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The Horses and the Hounds

James McMurtry

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1
Canola Fields
00:04:49

James McMurtry, Composer, MainArtist - Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG, MusicPublisher

2021 New West Records, LLC 2021 Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG

2
If It Don't Bleed
00:03:50

James McMurtry, Composer, MainArtist - Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG, MusicPublisher

2021 New West Records, LLC 2021 Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG

3
Operation Never Mind
00:04:34

James McMurtry, Composer, MainArtist - Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG, MusicPublisher

2021 New West Records, LLC 2021 Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG

4
Jackie
00:05:07

James McMurtry, Composer, MainArtist - Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG, MusicPublisher

2021 New West Records, LLC 2021 Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG

5
Decent Man
00:04:48

James McMurtry, Composer, MainArtist - Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG, MusicPublisher

2021 New West Records, LLC 2021 Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG

6
Vaquero
00:04:41

James McMurtry, Composer, MainArtist - Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG, MusicPublisher

2021 New West Records, LLC 2021 Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG

7
The Horses and the Hounds
00:04:38

James McMurtry, Composer, MainArtist - David Grissom, Composer - David Grissom Music (BMI), MusicPublisher - Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG, MusicPublisher

2021 New West Records, LLC 2021 Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG / David Grissom Music (BMI) administered by CleaRigh

8
Ft. Walton Wake-Up Call
00:05:16

James McMurtry, Composer, MainArtist - Cornbread, Composer - Daren Hess, Composer - Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG, MusicPublisher - Clown (BMI), MusicPublisher - Cornbread Publishing Designee, MusicPublisher

2021 New West Records, LLC 2021 Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG / Clown (BMI) / Cornbread Publishing Designee

9
What's the Matter
00:04:26

James McMurtry, Composer, MainArtist - Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG, MusicPublisher

2021 New West Records, LLC 2021 Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG

10
Blackberry Winter
00:05:09

James McMurtry, Composer, MainArtist - Ross Hogarth, Composer - Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG, MusicPublisher - Hoax Finoax Music (BMI), MusicPublisher

2021 New West Records, LLC 2021 Short Trip Music (BMI) administered by BMG / Hoax Finoax Music (BMI)

Album Description

It shouldn't surprise anyone that James McMurtry, son of novelist Larry "Lonesome Dove" McMurtry, continues his excellent storytelling on his 12th album. In another life, McMurtry could have been a straight poet, one prone like his dad to getting up and giving readings of his lyrical brilliance. While his father's fame has certainly assisted his career, this McMurtry has the music in him, a true folkie with rock and roll tendencies. The Texas troubadour's specialty is detailed miniatures, populated with flawed but finely drawn characters, some of whom clearly draw on incidents and characters from his own life.

On The Horses and The Hounds, McMurtry has assembled an A team of the great David Grissom (Joe Ely, John Mellencamp, Dixie Chicks) and Charlie Sexton, who's spent much of the last decade playing with Bob Dylan. The lyrical flourishes begin immediately in the travelogue opener where he moves from canola fields in Southern Alberta, through the suicide doors on his old, white Lincoln in Santa Cruz, to "Brooklyn before it went hipster." In "Jackie," about a doomed female trucker, he turns a discussion of everyday ground cover into gold with this choppy but musical couplet of Great Plains versification: "Half a section in the short grass at the foot of the plains/ Grows broomweed in the dry times, ragweed when it rains." The inevitable cowboy ode, "Vaquero," sung partially in Spanish, benefits from fellow Texan scion Bukka Allen (son of Terry) on accordion. While guitars move to the front of the mix in the title track, the road song "What's The Matter" where "Blood pressure's up, I gotta take pills/ If the food don't kill me, the alcohol will," is the album's bouncy, upbeat single. Fortunately, McMurtry's intricate tales of human emotional entanglement are so engrossing that the similar slow ballad-like tempos of everything here are almost unnoticeable. Producer Ross Hogarth whose extensive discography—much of it as an engineer—includes work with everyone from Céline Dion to Van Halen, brings a simple uncomplicated sound to the proceedings. McMurtry's personal and neverending story continues with style. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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