James McMurtry

Though he hasn't put out a new record since 1998's Walk Between the Raindrops (whose advice-to-a-teen title track should rightfully appear every May as a graduation gift alongside that damn Dr. Seuss book), James McMurtry's fans are usually just as content to hear his rich story-song back catalog one more time. His literary tales of drunkards, strugglers, losers and dreamers -- all delivered in his trademark drawling monotone -- make him the Raymond Carver (and occasionally Charles Bukowski) of Texas singer-songwriters. "Some of these characters are based on people I meet," McMurtry once said. "There's whole bars full of them. It's really disturbing."


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