James McMurtry’s ‘Complicated Game’ Plan

James McMurtry ventures forth in support of his first new album in six years.  Beginning in Memphis in early April, the singer/songwriter has stops ranging from Nashville to Cleveland to Little Rock.

Photo: Jennifer Bronenkant / ConcertLivewire.com
City Winery, Chicago, Ill.

McMurtry’s new album, Complicated Game, doesn’t arrive until Feb. 24 but it’s already receiving praise.  Saying the artist “continues to surprise,” Texas Music magazine described the song set as “a collection of narratives as sharply observed as any from McMurtry, but with a contemplative depth that comes with maturity.”

The son of novelist Larry McMurtry, James McMurtry released his debut album, Too Long In The Wasteland, in 1989, 10 years before Napster raised its file-sharing head to change the recording industry forever. 

“Back before Napster and Spotify, we toured to promote record sales,” McMurtry said.  “Now we make records to promote tour dates.”

McMurtry has packed April with so many show dates that they bleed into May.  Before he takes Complicated Game for a nationwide spin, he does have a few gigs in his home state of Texas, playing Austin’s Waterloo Records Feb. 26; Houston at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck Feb. 27; Dallas’ Granada Theater March 6 and Houston’s Continental Club March 28.

The tour begins one week later.  Here’s the schedule:

April 7 – Memphis, Tenn., Lafayette’s Music Room
April 9 – Nashville, Tenn., 3rd & Lindsley
April 10 – Atlanta, Ga., Variety Playhouse
April 11 – Charlotte, N.C., Visulite Theatre
April 13 – Charleston, S.C., The Pour House
April 14 – Raleigh, NC  Southland Ballroom
April 15 – Charlottesville, Va., The Southern
April 17 – Teaneck, N.J., Mexicali Live
April 18 – New York, N.Y., The Bowery Ballroom
April 20 – Washington, D.C., The Hamilton Live
April 21 – Philadelphia, Pa., World Cafe Live
April 22 – Cleveland, Ohio, Beachland Ballroom
April 23 – Chicago, Ill., Lincoln Hall
April 24 – Madison, Wis., High Noon Saloon
April 25 – Minneapolis, Minn., Fine Line Music Café
April 27 – Bloomington, Ill., The Castle Theatre
April 28 – Iowa City, Iowa, The Mill
April 29 – Des Moines, Iowa, Wooly’s
April 30 – Kansas City, Mo., Knuckleheads
May 1 – St. Louis, Mo., Off Broadway Nightclub
May 2 – Little Rock, Ark., Revolution Music Room 

Some shows go on sale this week.  Check with venues for more information.