Tuesday To-Do: James McMurtry | Rock Candy

Tuesday To-Do: James McMurtry

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JAMES McMURTRY
9 p.m., Juanita's. $13.

"I'm gonna depress you the best I can," James McMurtry says before a song. "Because I'm thoroughly tied into the Prozac industry." One-liners like that exemplify why the Texas singer/songwriter enjoys a reputation as one of the most literate songwriters of his generation. It's in his bones. The son of a college English professor and the brilliant Texas novelist Larry McMurtry is pedigreed, growing up on his father's deft prose in song, often eyeing down the same Southern mythos with wry cynicism and an everyman's shrug. For the last decade, he's turned his amps towards politics and corporate greed in musical snapshots. Take "Cheney's Toy," in which McMurtry's disaffected voice jumps from Iraq to Washington, D.C., to Guantanamo Bay with a dry, sardonic snarl juxtaposing a figure in the midst of battle with the aping, puppet president that stuck him there. It's witty, it's affecting and it's as brazen as songwriting gets. On Tuesday, he's joined by a fellow Austin-based singer/songwriter Jonny Burke.

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