James McMurtry To Trek North America

James McMurtry is hitting the road once again, bringing his “Back At It” tour up and down North America through the summer.

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

The 32-date outing starts off at in St. Louis, Mo. June 8, and stretches across the continent, concluding in Maryville, Tenn., July 23.

Prior to the tour, McMurtry appears in Denton, Texas, and at the  in Medicine Park, Okla., at the end of May.

McMurtry plays Americana music, blending folk, blues and rock influences. His most recent album, Complicated Game, paints a number of portraits exploring love, loss and poverty in middle America.

As a musician, he doesn’t have any qualms about using his voice and pen to enter into political discourse. Possibly his best-known work is a highly-charged protest song against economic injustice, “We Can’t Make It Here.”

A fragment of those lyrics, listed below, demonstrate his skill with the pen:

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I’m in
Should I hate ’em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They’ve never known want, they’ll never know need
Their shit don’t stink and their kids won’t bleed
Their kids won’t bleed in the damn little war
And we can’t make it here anymore

With over 25 years of recording history logged, McMurtry has been a constant in Americana music, carrying the torch of poignant songwriting forward to substantial critical acclaim. CNN has called McMurtry “America’s fiercest songwriter” and contemporary John Mellencamp, who produced McMurtry’s debut album, proclaims “James writes like he’s lived a lifetime.”

Here is the routing for McMurtry’s upcoming tour:

June 8 — St. Louis, Mo., Off Broadway Nightclub
June 9 — Kansas City, Mo., Knuckleheads
June 10 — Lincoln, Neb., Vega
June 11 — Laramie, Wyo., Shöcktoberfest
June 13 — Boise, Idaho, Neurolux
June 14 — Bend, Ore., Domino Room
June 15 — Redding, Calif., Old City Hall
June 16 — Chico, Calif., Stonecutters Butcher Shop Barn
June 17 — Vallecito, Calif., Twisted Oak Winery
June 18 — Santa Barbara, Calif., Live Oak Camp (Live Oak Music Festival)
June 20 — Petaluma, Calif., Lagunitas Brewing Co
June 21 — Reno, Nev., Cargo Concert Hall
June 22 — Salt Lake City, Utah, The State Room
June 23 — Rifle, Colo., Ute Theater
June 24 — Denver, Colo., Bluebird Theater
June 25 — El Prado, N.M., Taos Mesa Brewing Company
June 26 — Albuquerque, N.M., The Dirty Bourbon
June 30 — Austin, Texas, Shady Grove
July 3 — Berwyn, Ill., FitzGerald’s (Fitzgeralds American Music Festival)
July 7 — Fayetteville, Ark., George’s Majestic Lounge
July 9 — Somerset, Ky., Somerset Community College (Master Musicians Festival)
July 10 — Indianapolis, Ind., Rathskeller
July 12 — Columbus, Ohio, Rumba Cafe
July 13 — Pittsburgh, Pa., Club Cafe
July 14 — Kent, Ohio, The Kent Stage
July 15 — Buffalo, N.Y., Sportsmens Tavern
July 16 — Peterborough, Ontario, Market Hall
July 17 — Ottawa, Ontario, Lebreton Flats Park (RBC Bluesfest)
July 20 — Charlottesville, Va., The Southern
July 21 — Rocky Mount, Va., Harvester Performance Center
July 22 — Asheville, N.C., The Grey Eagle
July 23 — Maryville, Tenn., The Shed At Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson       

Tickets to most of these shows are on sale now and more information is available at JamesMcMurtry.com.