Live in Europe
Label: Lightning Rod Records
James McMurtry takes his Texas-inspired tunes to Europe for the first time on this live album. With an eye for detail and a colorful way with words, he infuses his stories -- warbled in a well-worn Dylan-meets-Knopfler drawl -- with sharp, visceral emotion. "Hurricane Party" is the centerpiece here with McMurtry conveying isolation over a wash of jangly guitars and gentle rhythms, while hitting you over the head with a biting couplet verse after verse. Other highlights include "You'd a' Thought (Leonard Cohen Must Die)" and "Freeway View," which features Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan.