Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 1:48 pm
James McMurtry's career started hot, thanks to a lucky series of circumstances in 1987. First, at a friend's behest, he entered and won a high-profile songwriting competition. Then, when John Mellencamp got involved in a project written by McMurtry's father (the novelist Larry McMurtry), it gave the young folk-rock musician a chance to get his demo tape into Mellencamp's hands. Mellencamp soon signed on to co-produce McMurtry's debut album, Too Long in the Wasteland.
McMurtry has gone on to release a long string of records; the most recent is Live Europe, a 2009 collection featuring tracks from his first European tour and tremendous live shows. McMurtry showcases his keenly observant storytelling and stellar guitar picking in this concert for WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.