Originally published in Compass, April 10, 2014
James McMurtry to play Blue Hill Fair
The Blue Hill Fair announced in a press release that James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards will perform at the fair on Saturday, August 30, at 7:30 p.m. Presented on the Grandstand Stage, the show will be free with price of admission to the fair.
The son of acclaimed author Larry McMurtry, James grew up on a steady diet of Johnny Cash and Roy Acuff records. His first album, “Too Long in the Wasteland” (released in 1989), was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill. In 1996, McMurtry received a Grammy nomination for his Longform Music Video of “Where’d You Hide The Body.” 1997’s “It Had To Happen” received the American Indie Award for Best Americana Album.
In 2004, McMurtry released the universally lauded “Live in Aught-Three” on Compadre Records. 2005’s Childish Things garnered some of the highest critical praise of McMurtry’s career and spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006. In September 2006, “Childish Things” and “We Can’t Make It Here” won the Americana Music Awards for Album and Song of the Year, respectively. McMurtry received more Americana Music Award nominations for 2008’s “Just Us Kids.” This album marked his highest Billboard 200 chart position in more than 19 years.
The poignant lyrics of his immense catalog still ring true today.