When: Fri., June 2, 8 p.m.
James McMurtry, son of beloved writer Larry McMurtry—best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning, miniseries-inspiring novel Lonesome Dove—is an Americana singer-songwriter with a real chip on his shoulder. His songs, beginning with those on his stellar 1989 debut Too Long in the Wasteland, are exquisite, writerly, and sprawling meditations on American moral (and physical) decay. McMurtry, a Texas boy by birth and by inclination, has released nine studio albums to date, but it’s his latest effort, 2015’s Complicated Game, that solidified his reputation as one of the most penetrating and vital songwriters of his (or any) genre. Filled with wit, emotion, empathetic anguish, and the type of startlingly immediate characterization that you might expect from a celebrated novelist’s son, Complicated Game is at once a nuanced lament and a fiery call to arms. Dig the album and don’t miss your chance to catch the songs live, no doubt accompanied by gems from throughout the man’s career, at the old dancehall in Gruene.