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James McMurtry

Live in Aught-Three – 2004 (Compadré)

Reviewed by Rick Teverbaugh

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CDs by James McMurtry

It's hard to imagine a better mixture of well-written songs, solid musicianship and an impeccable live recording than what awaits the listener on James McMurtry's disc. McMurtry has a solid reputation as one of the more respected of the Americana singer/songwriters, and this disc shows ample evidence about why.

The record is valuable on two counts. McMurtry is hardly what would be called a tireless traveling performer so many of his fans haven't had the opportunity to hear him live with his band the Heartless Bastards. Others may not be familiar with this Texas-born son of "Lonesome Dove" novelist Larry McMurtry and since he has no "Best of" collection, "Live in Aught-Three" is a rather impressive introduction.

There are 13 songs and a bit of stage banter thrown in to give almost 80 minutes of pleasure. His gruff vocal stylings might not be too all tastes, but it seems to fit the rural, rustic nature of his songs. This is a fine outing on all counts.