James McMurtry Live Webcast Tommorow Night

Fabchannel will present a live webcast of Alt.country legend James McMurtry entire show from the legendary Paradiso in Amsterdam tomorrow, January 27. The show is the first of McMurtry’s European tour. The webcast will start at 19.00 (GMT).

A few days after the live show, the entire recording will be included to Fabchannel’s online video archive.

Fabchannel records and streams live concerts every week. The James McMurtry recording is the latest addition to the extensive Fabchannel video archive, which includes 1000 full-length concert recordings, including Paul Weller, Willard Grant Conspiracy, Calexico, Iron and Wine, Fred Eaglesmith, Grayson Capps, Chuck Prophet, Joe Henry, and Drive-By Truckers and many more.

JD Wilkes Side Project – The Dirt Daubers

Jessica Cassyle Carr at Alibi.com holds a Q&A with Denver based former 16 Horsepower frontman and current Gothic Americana singer/songwriter David Eugene (aka Wovenhand.)

The Arizona Daily Star gives us a peak at the A-list alt.country artist packed tribute album for the Hacienda Brothers leader Chris Gaffney. Joe Ely, Los Lobos, Dave Alvin, Tom Russell, James McMurtry, Robbie Fulks, John Doe, Dave Gonzales and members Calexico and more  appear. The Hacienda Brothers‘ final album, “Arizona Motel,” came out last June, two months after Gaffney’s death.

I’m a huge fan of the Psychobilly/Gothic sideshow that is Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers so I was pleased that LeighAbsinthia over at the Hank III cussin’ board brought to my attention JD Wilkes roots music side project, along with his wife Layne Hendrickson. Ladies and gentleman I bring you The Dirt Daubers.

The Dirt Daubers – “Sugar Baby”


Folksinger Michael Johnathon’s WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour

I’ve just  ran across the web site for “folksinger Michael Johnathon’s WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour” which bills itself as a “multi-media celebration of grassroots, Americana music” and “airs on 491 radio stations worldwide, XM Satellite Radio, online and on public television stations across the nation.” Cool! That said the site does offer some great audio archives featuring the likes of artists loke Chris Knight, The Grascals, The Del McCoury Band, James McMurtry, Justin Townes Earle, Kathy Mattea, Cadillac Sky, BR549 and Elizabeth Cook. Great stuff!

James McMurtry and Band First Tour of Europe

In 2009, James McMurtry and his band will tour Europe for the first time. McMurtry is touring in support of his new album, Just Us Kids, which has received “Best of the Year” accolades from publications such as The Washington Post, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Legendary musician, Ian McLagan (Faces), will join McMurtry’s band on keyboards for the tour. Austin singer/songwriter, Jon Dee Graham, will open most of the dates. Both McLagan and Graham appear on Just Us Kids.

1/16 Nuremburg, DE K4
1/17 Lauchhammer, DE Real Music Club
1/18 Berlin, DE Cafe Zapata
1/20 Hamburg, DE Knust
1/21 Leipzig, DE Nato
1/22 Heilbronn, DE Red River Saloon
1/23 Eppstein, DE Wunderbar Weite Welt
1/24 Geislingen/Steige, DE Rätsche
1/25 Zürich, CH El Lokal
1/27 Amsterdam, NL Paradiso
1/28 Den Haag, NL Paard van Troje
1/29 Den Bosch, NL W2
1/30 Diksmuide, BE Club 4AD
1/31 Bristol, UK Polish Club
2/01 Glasgow, UK Oran Mor (Celtic Connections Festival) *
2/02 Belfast, IE Errigle Inn
2/03 Dublin, IE Whelan’s
2/04 Leeds, UK Brudenell Social Club
2/05 Newcastle, UK The Cluny
2/06 Nottingham, UK The Maze
2/07 London, UK Luminaire
2/08 London, UK Luminaire

*Jon Dee Graham opening all dates on tour except Celtic Connections Festival

James McMurtry and Lucinda Williams Get Political

As the 2004 2004 Presidential Election was drawing near James McMurtry gave away a free download of his state of the union anthem, “We Can’t Make It Here.” The song seemed to strike a chord with the public and went on to win Song of the Year at the Americana Music Honors and Awards. Author Stephen King described it as the “best American protest song since ‘Masters of War'” in his Entertainment Weekly column. On the brink of the 2008 election, McMurtry is now giving away a previously unreleased live version of “We Can’t Make It Here” from his 2008 concert at Southpaw in Brooklyn, NY.

Following the release of her new album Little Honey, Lucinda Williams has just released a politically-charged, digital only, four-song Live EP titled Lu in 08. The EP features three covers and one Williams original. The tracks will be Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” Bob Dylan’s “Masters Of War,” Thievery Corporation/Flaming Lips collaboration “Marching The Hate Machines” and the unreleased “Bone Of Contention.” The three covers were recorded live in Greensboro, NC in September 2007 and “Bone Of Contention” in Milwaukee, WI of July 2008.  Here the EP streaming here.

Americana Music Association Announces Line Up

  • The Americana Music Association has released an initial list of arists that will be playing around Nashville during their music festival and conferencethis September 17-20 2008. Some of the performers will be: Jim Lauderdale, Mike Farris, Kane Welch Kaplin, The everybodyfields, The SteelDrivers, Tift Merritt, Jason & the Scorchers, Joe Ely, Malcolm Holcombe, Rosie Flores, Band of Heathens, Laura Cantrell, Cross Canadian Ragweed, James McMurtry, Jason Isbell and much much more.
  • The drop date for Chris knight’s new album, Heart of Stone, has been pushed back to September 2nd due to “production issues.” Guest musicians on Heart of Stone include Mike McAdam (Steve Earle, Radney Foster) on various guitars, Keith Christopher (Georgia Satellites, The Yayhoos) on bass, Tammy Rodgers (The SteelDrivers) fiddle and vocals, mandolin and banjo, and Michael Webb (The Wreckers, Allison Moorer) on B-3 organ, piano and accordion. Producer Dan Baird also contributes on guitar and vocals. Knight says of Heart of Stone “It might just be my best. For some reason, there’s a cohesiveness here that’s not like anything I’ve done before. But at the same time, it’s not real predictable. There’s a lot of texture to it as well, but it’s a simple record. I don’t know how that happened. But I know it when I hear it.”
  • The documentary “Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music” will air on PBS stations tomorrow night. The film is directed by Robert Elfstrom and is a “cinema vérité look at Cash.”  PBS produced the documentary almost 40 years ago (!) Robert Elfstrom also takes some time to answer some questions for the the Tennessean (via the 9513)

Americana Music Association 2008 Honors and Awards Nominees Announced

The 2008 Americana Music Association Honors and Awards Nominees have been announced with Alison Krauss & Robert Plant getting the most nods for their moody roots release “Raising Sand.”  Some are dead on and some, like the The Avett Brothers who have come out with no new release for 2008, you just wonder if the AMA is going to have it’s own equivalent shoo-in like the Country Music Awards giving Kenny Chesney Entertainer of the Year for something like 13 years in a row (5 years in a row, actually.)

Here’s the list

Alison Krauss & Robert Plant
Raising Sand
Hayes Carll
Trouble in Mind
James McMurtry
Just Us Kids
Levon Helm
Dirt Farmer

Steve Earle
Levon Helm
Jim Lauderdale
James McMurtry

Buddy Miller
Chris Thile
Gurf Morlix
Sam Bush

Justin Townes Earle
Mike Farris
Ryan Bingham
The Steeldrivers

“Broken” Tift Merritt
“Cheney’s Toy” James McMurtry
“Gone Gone Gone” Alison Krauss & Robert Plant
“Poor Old Dirt Farmer” Levon Helm
“She Left Me for Jesus” Hayes Carll

Alison Krauss & Robert Plant
Drive By Truckers
Kane Welch Kaplin
The Avett Brothers

In more Americana Music Association news, the AMA is going to give their Lifetime Achievement in Performance Award to alt.country pioneers Jason and the Scorchers. The Awards show will be held Thursday, September 18 at the Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Original Jason and the Scorchers members Jason Ringenberg, Warner Hodges, Jeff Johnson and Perry Baggs will be on hand not only to accept the honor, but to perform together for the first time in more than a decade.

James McMurtry in the Washington Post

The Washington Post sits down for some Mexican food and beer with Texas’ own James McMurtry appropriately titled “His Songs? Bleak. His Future? Bright.” McMurtry talks about his new release “Just Us Kids,” his growing popularity and the sorry state of America.  A sample:

His lyrics focus on broken dreams and hard realities. “I tend to look at the dark cloud behind the silver lining,” he says. (The songwriter Robert Earl Keen says that when McMurtry sits down to write, it’s as if “another tragedy is about to unfold.”)

Whatever he is — bard in a bar band; songwriter’s songwriter; hell, writer’s writer (Stephen King will talk your ear off about him and called McMurtry  “the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation” ed) — McMurtry, at 46, has crafted one of the year’s best albums in “Just Us Kids,” which artfully mixes provocative portraits with political screeds, including the Bush-bashing “Cheney’s Toy.”

James McMurtry – Ruby & Carlos -  the Granada Theater Dallas, TX


James McMurtry Contest

James McMurtry and Lightning Rod Records are holding a contest for fans to create a music video to the protest song “Cheney’s Toy” off McMurtry’s new release Just Us Kids.

From the entries, McMurtry will choose the best videos and post them on his official MySpace page and website. If needed, fans can create videos using slideshow applications at RockYou.com.  Creators of each of the top five videos will receive t-shirts and autographed copies of McMurtry’s new album,  Just Us Kids (in stores now). McMurtry’s choice for the best overall video will also receive an 8 Gb Apple iPod Nano.

Some video fans have already made.



James McMurtry on Popmatters.com – New Release “Just Us Kids” 4/15

PopMatters.com has an excellent 20 question with Ft. Worth native and alt.country gadfly James McMurtry – who Stephen King has called “the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation” (Entertainment Weekly) – From the feature:

You want to be remembered for…?
Oh, perhaps…not screwing up my son any worse than I was screwed up. Of course, we don’t get remembered for what doesn’t happen on our watch.

During the waning years of the Carter presidency, Israel invaded Lebanon. The often portrayed as spineless Jimmy Carter told the Israelis to go home if they still wanted spare parts for their jets. The Israelis pulled back and waited for Reagan, who let them roll into Beirut and create one unholy mess. Reagan sent in the US Marines as a “symbolic presence”. Over 300 of those Marines died when a truck bomb blew up their barracks and a few more died from sniper fire.

When Walter Mondale suggested that perhaps the intervention had been a bad idea, since the troops had been sent in more or less for the hell of it with no clear military objective, he was accused by the Reaganites of saying the troops had “died in vain”. Anybody remember what didn’t happen under Carter?

In case tyou were wondering what to do with those tax returns, McMurtry’s latest release, Just Us Kids, drops April 15.