THE AVETT BROTHERS have returned with an incredible new album called True Sadness, which we have in stock on CD and vinyl LP, of course. And it’s generating some serious buzz. “The Avett Brothers’ catalog is broad enough to encompass jittery punk bluegrass, barren acoustic ballads about heartache and family, and stately folk-pop that borders […] Read More
It’s old news, but worth retelling every now and then how far back the Sam Bush/Horizon Records connection goes, and how super-proud of his achievements we are, and how exhilarated we are for his new release. Storyman is exceptional. Storyman is a freewheeling collection that gleefully picks and chooses from jazz, folk, blues, reggae, country […] Read More
This week’s crop of new stuff features old–school R&B master Maxwell’s first album in seven years, a startlingly mature effort from Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins, a joyfully jazzy Brazilian music tribute from pianist Bob Baldwin and even some Gene-centric classical goodness from Nicola Benedetti. Read on… SARA WATKINS, Young In All The Wrong Ways (CD/LP) […] Read More
When G is away, the mice shall play! Thought I would boogie to a little SCOTS while sorting through all the new and used vinyl we have in stock right now. There are some hidden gems in the racks, that's for sure. -Katie #SCOTS ... See MoreSee Less
This just in: LIVE FROM A MOON SHAPED POOL. A UNIQUE RADIOHEAD EVENT TOOK PLACE ON FRIDAY JUNE 17th AT RECORD STORES GLOBALLY, FEATURING AN EXCLUSIVE DAY LONG AUDIO STREAM FROM THE BAND, COMPETITIONS, INSTRUCTIONAL ARTWORKS AND MORE. Horizon was thrilled to be one of the indie retailers to present an exclusive audio stream of material specially curated […] Read More
With his trademark mandolin style and unequaled tenor harmonies, Curly Seckler has carved out a seventy-seven-year career in bluegrass and country music. His foundational work in Flatt and Scruggs’s Foggy Mountain Boys secured him a place in bluegrass history, while his role in The Nashville Grass made him an essential part of the music’s triumphant […] Read More
On the heels of the epic and life –changing four disc 10 Years Live set, BRAD MEHLDAU returns with his magical trio, Larry Grenadier (bass), and Jeff Ballard (drums) with Blues and Ballads, the trio’s first new release since 2012’s Where Do You Start, on June 3 on Nonesuch Records. At Horizon Records, where we do […] Read More
Tower of Song is a series of FREE CONCERTS at Horizon Records or in our adjoining Bohemian Cafe, truly a unique listening and performing experience for artists and audience.
Our friend, the acclaimed songsmith and gnarly guitar player JAMES MCMURTRY returns to the GREY EAGLE on July 22nd! His latest release, Complicated Game, like all his releases has been an ongoing (and no doubt perennial) favorite. James & the boys aren’t stopping in Greenville this go-round, unless it’s for lunch in the The Bohemian Café on their way. So click HERE and represent at The Grey Eagle.
James McMurtry’s extensive “Back At It” summer tour kicks off during St. Louis’ Twangfest (June 8) and zigzags across North America before wrapping up in Maryville, Tenn. (July 23). Major markets include Denver, Reno, Salt Lake City as well as Midwest and East Coast stops in Indianapolis, Kansas City and Pittsburgh. “June could be hot in Austin what with the unexpected acceleration in climate change,” McMurtry says. “Time to tour, I say. Back before Napster and Spotify, we toured to promote record sales. Now we make records to promote tour dates.”
Clearly, the sea change has only inspired the singular songwriter. Witness Complicated Game. McMurtry’s first album in six years has garnered universal acclaim. “At a stage where most veteran musicians fall into a groove or rut, McMurtry continues to surprise,” Texas Music magazine recently noted. “[Complicated Game] is a collection of narratives as sharply observed as any from McMurtry, but with a contemplative depth that comes with maturity.”
Indeed, McMurtry’s latest collection spotlights a craftsman in absolutely peak form as he turns from the political toward the personal (“These Things I’ve Come to Know,” “You Got to Me”). “The lyrical theme is mostly about relationships,” the longtime Austin resident says. “It’s also a little about the big old world verses the poor little farmer or fisherman.” Either way, McMurtry spins his stories with a poet’s pen (“Long Island Sound”) and a painter’s precision (“She Loves Me”) throughout.
Folks notice Complicated Game delivering McMurtry’s trademark story songs time and again (“Copper Canteen,” “Deaver’s Crossing”). “[McMurtry] takes listeners on a road trip of unprecedented geographic and emotional scope,”No Depression raves. “Lyrically, the album is wise and adventurous, with McMurtry – who’s not prone to autobiographical tales – credibly inhabiting characters from all walks of life.” “Fuses wry, literate observations about the world with the snarl of barroom rock,” National Public Radio (NPR) echoes. “The result is at times sardonic, subversive and funny, but often vulnerable and always poignant.”
Longtime fans know McMurtry’s vibrant vignettes have turned heads for a quarter century now. “James McMurtry is one of my very few favorite songwriters on Earth and these days he’s working at the top of his game,” says Americana all-star Jason Isbell. “He has that rare gift of being able to make a listener laugh out loud at one line and choke up at the next. I don’t think anybody writes better lyrics.” (Yes. Spin “South Dakota.” You’ll hear.) “They took their time with this one,” Texas Music magazine notes, “and it was well worth it. He’s always been wise beyond his age, but middle age suits him well.”
Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched three Americana Music Award nominations (including Artist of the Year). Meanwhile, Childish Things scored endless critical praise and spent six full weeks topping the Americana Music Radio chart in 2005 and 2006. In 2006, Childish Things won the Americana Music Association’s Album of the Year and “We Can’t Make It Here” was named the rapidly rising organization’s Song of the Year.
Of course, Complicated Game doubles down on literate storytelling longtime enthusiasts expect. Recall high watermarks past: “Childish Things,” “Choctaw Bingo,” “Peter Pan,” “Levelland,” and “Out Here in the Middle” only begin the list. (Yes, Robert Earl Keen covered those last two, “Levelland” remaining a live staple.) Just Us Kids alone includes fan favorites “Hurricane Party,” “Ruby and Carlos” and “You’d a Thought.” “Fireline Road” delivers equal measures depth and breadth and pierces hearts with sharp sociopolitical commentary.
McMurtry’s critically lauded first album Too Long in the Wasteland (1989) was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill Records. In 1996, McMurtry received a Grammy nomination for Long Form Music Video for Where’d You Hide the Body. Additionally, It Had to Happen (1997) received the American Indie Award for Best Americana Album.
In 2004, McMurtry released the universally lauded Live in Aught-Three on Compadre Records. Next, the critically acclaimed Childish Things spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006, winning the Americana Music Award for Album of the Year while the cut “We Can’t Make It Here” won Song of the Year. McMurtry received more AMA nominations for 2008’s Just Us Kids. That album marked his highest Billboard 200chart position in more than nearly two decades.
In 2009, Live in Europe was released, capturing the McMurtry band’s first European tour and extraordinary live set. Along with seasoned band members Ronnie Johnson, Daren Hess, and Tim Holt, the disc features special guestsIan McLagan (The Faces) and Jon Dee Graham (True Believers, Skunks). Also, for the first time ever, video of the band’s live performance is available on the included DVD.
The poignant lyrics of McMurtry’s immense catalog still ring true today. In 2011, “We Can’t Make It Here” was cited among The Nation’s “Best Protest Songs Ever.” Bob Lefsetz wrote that it “has stood the test of time because of its unmitigated truth.”
McMurtry tours year round and consistently throws down unparalleled powerhouse performances. The Washington Post notes, “Much attention is paid to James McMurtry’s lyrics and rightfully so: He creates a novel’s worth of emotion and experience in four minutes of blisteringly stark couplets. What gets overlooked, however, is that he’s an accomplished rock guitar player … serious stuff, imparted by a singularly serious band.”
James’ amazing catalog of crucial unfiltered roots-Americana rockingness awaits you in the stacks at Horizon!