Thursday, August 18, 2011

This Week in Sugar Hill History - James McMurtry "Walk Between the Raindrops"

13 Years ago (way back in 1998), Sugar Hill released the roots, country album "Walk Between the Raindrops" by James McMurtry.

Singer/songwriter James McMurtry, son of novelist Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove), seems to have inherited his father's knack for weaving a story with memorable characters, the aural equivalent of a page-tuner. McMurtry's tales of lovers, losers, wanderers and rebels trying to make their way through America's heartland are as rich with detail as anything by Faulkner or Capote. "Soda and Salt" is a darkly amusing tale of a rebel-without-a-cause--at the grade school level. The snaking, sardonic mid-tempo rocker "Racing to the Red Light" is a slice-of-life about a guy desperate to escape Nowheresville, USA, where most others seem content--or have just given up. Stylistically and vocally, McMurtry recalls Loudon Wainwright III (earthy but with a dry, wry wit), Lou Reed (if Reed had grown up in the Midwest) and John Mellencamp (catchy rock and roll with a keen awareness of the American working class and an affinity for folk and country). His tunes have subtle melodies and touches (like the Irish folk-tinge in "Every Little Bit Counts")--they don't hit you over the head, but instead get under your skin, like you're getting to know the people he's singing about. McMurtry's songs stay with you long after the player reads "0:00."

Buy the album here

This Week in Sugar Hill History - Walk Between the Raindrops by Sugar Hill Records

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