Curtis McMurtry McGonigel's Mucky Duck, August 8
It should come as no great shock that Curtis McMurty has the same kind of wicked gift as his father James and grandfather Larry; his words leave nasty welts. The Austin singer-songwriter has not yet reached 25 years of age, but the noir Americana of his brand-new LP Respectable Enemy -- seek it out on Bandcamp, not iTunes -- is the kind of gallery of not-so-noble adventurers ("Whiskey Sweats"), psychically scarred veterans ("Foxhole") and skeevy potential stalkers ("Eleanor's House") you might otherwise find in a Cormac McCarthy book or Coen brothers film.
The 11 songs' low-key acoustic arrangements are sometimes tastefully enhanced with strings and horns, but even that can't lessen the sting of knife-twisting lyrics such as "If you knew me at all, you wouldn't love me so much" or "We made love and you asked me to hurt you/ I wish I could say I refused." With Jimmy LaFave. CHRIS GRAY