James McMurtry

Wednesday
23
Sep

"Truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation" - Stephen King

"The songwriting conscience of America” - Folk Wax

New date! James McMurtry has been rescheduled from March 31st to September 23rd.

Ticket holders: Your original tickets and seat selections will be honored on September 23rd, you do not need to do anything further.

 

 

Why you should see this show…

For nearly three decades, Austin-based Americana songwriter James McMurtry has been a master of fact through fiction. He is a true poet and one of the fiercest lyricists in America today. iTunes writes, “As the years pile on, James McMurtry sings with ever more authority and deserved cynical grace…With each album, (he) finds more to say and a stubborn, uncompromising way to say it.” We cannot wait to hear what he has to say in his new album due out in 2020!
 

James McMurtry Bio
James McMurtry has been working with legendary Los Angeles-based producer Ross Hogarth at Santa Monica’s GrooveMasters for his forthcoming album. Liner notes enthusiasts know multiple-Grammy-winning producer/engineer/mixer Hogarth from his work with Gov’t Mule, Roger Waters, The Black Crowes, Shawn Colvin, John Mellencamp, R.E.M., and Jewel, among many others. Hogarth’s wide and varied experience and taste opened up all creative doors and usual and unusual possibilities for all their classics. And no need to explain the incredible GrooveMasters Studio.

Hogarth has never allowed himself to be pigeonholed or trapped in any one musical genre as his studio work runs the gamut from the heavy metal icons Mötley Crüe to the Grammy-winning Americana favorite Keb’ Mo’ to recent releases by Van Halen, Ziggy Marley, and the Sick Puppies. Exclusive and particular in its clientele, the semi-private Santa Monica recording studio where McMurtry will be recording has recently opened its doors to Laurel Canyon legends such as David Crosby, Bob Dylan, Warren Zevon, David Bromberg, and more. The spiritual vibe and feel of this studio, along with the cast of characters, will most definitely bring out the best in the upcoming McMurtry record.

Other notable players on the album (in addition to his stellar band) include David Grissom (John Mellencamp) and Harmoni Kelley (Kenny Chesney). McMurtry will unleash this latest collection of poignant and timely songs on New West Records this fall! “I first became aware of James McMurtry’s formidable songwriting prowess while working at Bug Music Publishing in the ’90s,” says New West President John Allen. “He’s a true talent. All of us at New West are excited at the prospect of championing the next phase of James’ already successful and respected career.” McMurtry joins New West’s singular roster of top-tier roots music all-stars including Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, John Hiatt, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Buddy Miller, Nikki Lane and dozens more.

 

 

Bonnie Whitmore Bio
Bonnie Whitmore may have a heart of gold, an outsize personality and a roof-raising laugh, but don’t be fooled: her debut album has a body count. No fewer than two men die by Bonnie’s own hand over the course of the record: one of them is burned alive, one the victim of a knife that, in Whitmore’s own words, “just slipped.” Take a look at that album cover and consider what secrets she’s trying to get you to keep quiet. And then think twice before you spill ’em.

It’s all part of a grand plan – one methodically designed by Whitmore – from album cover, to album content. The songs concerns themselves with the slow disintegration of a relationship, and the album’s title – Embers to Ashes – is meant to represent that story’s painful arc – from the first fires of young passion to the scorched ruin of heartbreak. As a killer, Whitmore’s the last you’d suspect: Embers to Ashes is full of sly, spry country music, whiskey-soaked songs that recall prime Loretta Lynn and early Neko Case and, in their more uptempo moments, Miranda Lambert at her rowdiest. But be warned: those revelers carry daggers, and there’s a bit of arsenic in that glass of cherry wine. As Whitmore herself puts it, “Nothing says ‘go to hell’ better than a uptempo, catchy song!”

Whitmore learned her way around country music early, touring at the ripe old age of 8 with her parents and her sister in a traveling roadshow cheekily titled “Daddy & the Divas.” “Basically, my dad had children so he could have a band,” she jokes. “He really wanted a bass player, so I learned how to play bass. My sister played the violin.”

Whitmore’s father had a pilot’s license – an accomplishment Whitmore herself would later achieve – so he’d fly the family to their gigs at remote Texas bars and overcrowded fall festivals. And though they were a family act, Bonnie often stole the show: “As a little girl with a big voice singing ‘Gold Dust Woman,’ a lot of times I’d get the biggest applause.”

As much as she loved playing with her family, the older she got, the more she wanted to strike out on her own. “I started to realize that I loved playing music,” she says. “So when I was 16 I started writing my own songs.” As her teen years progressed, Whitmore began working as a session player with other local musicians, while still continuing to perform with her family from time to time. For her first proper statement as a solo artist, she wanted to do something conceptual – something that told a story from beginning to end.

“I wanted to set up the album so it’s: ‘Boy meets girl, they breakup, but then there’s the kind of postscript. At the end of the album, you have to deal with the lingering memory of that lost love.”

Whitmore realized that vision to a striking degree. The title track is the kind of rough-and-tumble country song that would do Kathleen Edwards proud, but its rollicking rhythms conceal a sinister message: “Well, the preacher said until death to us part/ so you’re gonna have to pay for this broken heart.” “Tin Man” barrels forward like vintage Liz Phair, Whitmore using the classic Wizard of Oz character to pillory a heartless ex. Its lyric is built on a sly double-entendre: “Replaced by a girl named Mary who shares my middle name” (Whitmore’s middle name is “Jane”). “She Walks” is a sparkling, mid-tempo number with all the ache of Lucinda Williams or Gillian Welch, while “Cotton Sheets” plays out like bright update of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Passionate Kisses,” Whitmore cannily using its central metaphor to stand in for the tension between upper and lower class.

She’s just as adept on the record’s softer numbers. “You Gonna Miss Me” is a slow ramble Whitmore wrote around the time she was moving from Texas for a brief stay in Tennessee. “I was really concerned about how leaving was going to be, and I think I was hopeful that I was going to be missed,” she explains. “Sometimes, if I’m really emotionally involved when I’m playing a show, this song can get me to the point where I’m almost in tears.”

The album was cut in a marathon two-day session in the studio, guided by the sure hand of producer Chris Masterson. “Chris produced my sister’s record, Airplanes” Whitmore explains, “and it’s unbelievable the things that he pulled together when we worked together. He had such great vision -– he could hear sounds that weren’t there yet. I went into the studio with the intention of doing an EP, and he pushed me to do a full album.”

The gambit paid off – Embers to Ashes is full of ragged, rugged, instantly memorable country songs, a document of a relationship where passion burns hot, bright and quickly, and danger looms like a thunderstorm in the distance.

“I’m so grateful I have songwriting as an outlet, because it lets me relieve some of my darker emotions,” Whitmore explains. “Instead of going and maybe being a bit destructive, I just write songs instead. I know sometimes I write angsty songs, but that’s how I get the angst out.” Then she pauses and adds, with a why smile, “Kinda makes you wonder about the people who write all those happy songs!”

 

Dining Options

You have two dining options when attending a show in our Concert Hall:

Rusty Anchor at the Music Box – If you’d enjoy a more extensive menu, we suggest you dine downstairs in the Rusty Anchor before your concert. The Rusty Anchor menu features a great mix of Cleveland Comfort food including a selection of seafood, steaks & chops. Reservations are required for parties of two or more. To make a dinner reservation, please click here or call our Box Office at (216) 242-1250 and allow 90 minutes to dine prior to the beginning of the show upstairs.

Concert Hall – Our Concert Hall menu is fast to the table and allows you to dine right in your ticketed seat. So, there is no additional reservation required. The Concert Hall kitchen will be open through intermission. Table side beverage service will continue throughout the concert.

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