The first time I heard James McMurtry's music, I groaned to myself, wished for some Hank Williams instead and dismissed it quite quickly. The second time I heard it, I actually started listening. The third time I came across his songs, I was hooked.
The Austin-based McMurtry's Steve Earle-like music has a rough quality that owes much thanks to the man's vocal abilities. His lyrics, too, are vivid and poetic; in his song "Hurricane Party" off 2005's Childish Things, you don't hear about isolation and loss "when the lines are down." You see it, and, subsequently, you feel it.
You'll have two chances to see (and feel) McMurtry's music this weekend as he rolls through the region.