“James writes like he’s lived a lifetime,” said John Mellencamp back in 1989, when McMurtry’s 1989 album Too Long in the Wasteland hit the Billboard 200 charts. His 2005 album, Childish Things, won the Americana Music Association’s Album of the Year, with “We Can’t Make It Here” named Song of the Year. Other accolades include a 1996 Grammy nomination for “Where’d You Hide the Body” and an American Indie Award for Best Americana Album for It Had to Happen (1997). 2021 saw the release of The Horses and the Hounds, his much-anticipated first full-length studio album in seven years. James tours year-round and consistently throws down unparalleled powerhouse performances.