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  • Americana Master Series: Best of the Sugar Hill Years
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Americana Master Series: Best of the Sugar Hill Years


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Audio CD, March 13, 2007
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James McMurtry - "Freeway View" (LIVE IN EUROPE)

Biography

On Just Us Kids, James McMurtry follows up his critically acclaimed Childish Things with a dozen new, sharply drawn illuminations as he continues to hone and expand his considerable gifts. And the self-produced opus (James’ fourth venture pulling strings on both sides of the glass) unquestionably represents his most ambitious, accomplished and ass-kicking presentation to date.

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Americana Master Series: Best of the Sugar Hill Years + Childish Things + Where'd You Hide the Body
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 13, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sugarhill
  • ASIN: B000MGBS94
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,466 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sixty Acres
2. Every Little Bit Counts
3. No More Buffalo
4. Gulf Road
5. Tired of Walking
6. Lobo Town
7. Broken Bed
8. Paris
9. Walk Between the Raindrops
10. Fast as I Can
11. Out Here in the Middle
12. 12 O'Clock Whistle
13. Choctaw Bingo

Editorial Reviews

A true storyteller in the tradition of his family - father Larry is a celebrated novelist - James McMurtry's music has been described as roots-rock with a country feel, with a little bit of soul and blues thrown in just for good measure. The characters who populate McMurtry's albums are torn directly from the contemporary American landscape; they are so ragged and genuine - their lives are transformed into emotionally gripping songs that testify to the realities of life. This is the best of his Sugar Hill output.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By H. Holley C. on June 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I can see planets moving in the cosmos when I listen to James McMurtry. This is an album full of great tracks. I've got other recordings of some of them, and I wouldn't prioritize any over others, because James McMurtry is so emotive that ...any particular day, even if you get a different sound, it's a good one. But for a good set of recordings on a single CD you can leave in the player or take on a trip, this is nice. I am enjoying it time and time again, and will most likely listen more to this album than my older ones, unless I'm on a huge James kick, and want to hear more of a range.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brough TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD
James McMurtry had a brush with major label fame when his John Mellencamp produced Too Long in the Wasteland brought him attention in the early 90's. James' lyrically brusque songs echoed Mellencamp's worldview, and the McMurtry family tradition of quality wordsmithing covered the album like so much dustbowl dirt. But that attention was short lived, and CBS let James go after three albums. The roots label Sugar Hill scooped him up, and this compilation covers three albums between 1997 through 2002.

It's a good baker's dozen covering James' oft-told favorite stories; losers that have given up ("60 Acres"), the decline of the world as we know it ("No More Buffalo") and those that wrestle with our inner demons (the amazing "Choctaw Bingo"). These are not 'feel-good' songs, pointed out bluntly by the first song's family-infight over grandma's farm and the will the family squabbles over in "60 Acres."

Glory glory, Hallelujah,
Right back at'cha, don't she look natural.
Don't look at me like there's something growing out of my head!
Just 'cause that old bird's dead."

There's the alcoholic trying to regain control right after in "Every Little Bit Counts," and the dry delivery to "Broken Bed" underscores the pain of the singer's romantic break-up. And when the occasion calls for it, he can turn a phrase with the best of them, like "Fast as I Can's" tale of "a drinking man with a guitar problem.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is the best of James McMurtry's earlier recordings with Sugar Hill. He's one of the best of the Texas singer-songwriters and the son of author, Larry McMurtry. He's had musical help from such greats as Bruce Hornsby and John Cougar Mellencamp. His lyrics are strong, there are no punches pulled here and a couple of these songs might shock you with their frankness.

This is an excellent intro to McMurtry's work. It includes some greats, including: "60 Acres" a rant about the unfairness of inheritance, "No More Buffalo" about the deterioration of the plains, "Out here in the Middle" about living in the countryside instead.

Rebecca Kyle, May 2008
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mighty Joe on September 2, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this CD for the song Choctaw Bingo, which is a very poetic telling the story of going to a Texas family reunion. I was pleasantly surprised by how many other good songs were on this CD. In describing James McMurtry the words "singer-songwriter" come to mind, but there is much more going on. The images he conjures with his words will make you feel like you're there in his kitchen, listening to his stories. He comes from good story-telling stock. His father, Larry McMurtry, was no slouch in telling tales of the old west, winning a Pulitzer for Lonesome Dove.

Give this disc a try. If you like a good story, you'll enjoy this record.
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