Sunday, May 08, 2011

James McMurtry at McCabes April 30th

I guess it is getting redundant when I apologize for running late updating this blog. So, I’ll stop apologizing. And with that being said...

Last weekend we had the pleasure of seeing James McMurtry and Sean Rowe at McCabe’s in Santa Monica. It was a sell out and I was excited because I’ve never seen James McMurtry without his band. Sean Rowe opened for him, doing a typical (for McCabe’s) short set of about 4 songs. He has the deep voice of a Greg Brown and some exceptional songwriting skills. I just started to listen to his latest CD and it sure sounds like it is going to be a favorite of mine. He had an interesting presence on stage. A bit crazy. A bit scary. And then he’d talk to us and was so mellow. But when he would play his guitar and sing, he put his entire body into it. I can’t wait to hear more from him.

James was as good solo as he is with his band. His songwriting is so good, you sometimes forget that he is an exceptional guitar player. He isn’t too talkative on stage, but he was a bit more so this night. Still he would apologize for talking to us while tuning. For all his talent, he comes off as a humble man. The night’s music was very much about the common man. Songs like “Ruby and Carlos” make you want to cry. “Can’t Make it Here Anymore” is fast becoming a classic. As always, one of the highlights was “Choctaw Bingo”. He appeared a bit disappointed that the crowd didn’t get up and dance. And of course, there were no Continental Club go go dancers to add to the fun. But man he just rocked the place with only an acoustic guitar. And then there is that guitar playing. He never spends a lot of time showing off. He just makes it seem so easy and it fits so well. He gave us over an hour and a half of music and we wanted so much more.

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