James McMurtry played the Visulite on Tuesday night, the 21st to help usher in summer. Promoted by MaxxMusic, this was the biggest Tuesday night crowd that I have ever seen at the Visulite. I’m kind of surprised at the support for James McMurtry but I think that this speaks well for his ability to connect with all kinds of folks through his lyrics and the solid support of his longevity as a singer songwriter.
I admire folks that can put words together in songs / verses that tell a story, pull at emotions and usually rhyme, that’s close to a quote that Todd Snider usually tells as an introduction to his music. I always imagine that the singer songwriters that I like to hear were probably the nerdy kids at school who wrote poetry in English class and little did we know but they went home and honed their guitar or piano skills and put those poems to music. James McMurtry is in this group in my minds eye. He has a very quarky way of surveying his audience and determining if they are in tune with what he is doing, or if they just don’t get it.
His set was kind of a “best of” with selections from throughout his career but weighted with more selections from “Just Us Kids” , which really seems to connect with his audience. He exercised each of the guitars that he had on stage and seemed to be enjoying his night in Charlotte. I was left to wonder if he plays the same set every night or how much he mixes it up when he is out on tour. Something to look up if I can’t sleep some night.
As we left after the show, my wife turned to me and said – I think he is related to some of my relatives… I think that is part of the draw, he paints pictures of rich characters, who unfortunately, we may be related. Hurricane Party anyone?