James McMurtry – The Horses And The Hounds

James McMurty - The Horses And The Hounds



4.7/5 Pros

  • Great musical quality
  • Very good lyrics and vocal performance

Even though James McMurtry is a 1960’s born music artist, he had his first Top 10 placements in 2008. His music became more and more popular in the US as well as in Europe, though. His tenth studio album The Horses And The Hounds has been released on 20th August 2021.



James McMurtry – About The Artist

Jamey McMurtry was born on 18th March 1962 in Fort Worth in Texas. He is majorly active in folk and folk rock music. Apart from being a singer-songwriter, he is also working as a guitarist. McMurtry initially studied English and Spanish in Tuscon, before he finally decided to concentrate on music. Thus, he released his debut album Too Long in the Wasteland at the age of 27 – the album even had a minor album chart ranking. The next album, which was noted in the US charts was the 2005 Childish Things with average rankings in the US Heat, US Indie and US Country Charts. In 2008, Just Us Kids made it to the second spot in the US Heat Charts. Six years ago, the Complicated Game album even topped the same charts and was fourth in the US Folk album rankings.


James McMurtry – The Horses And The Hounds – Track by Track

The ten track album lasts 47 minutes.

1. Canola Fields

The album starts with two single releases. Canola Fields is a beauty, somewhere between folk, rock and country. I feel comfortable in listening to The Horses and the Hounds from the very first second.

2. If It Don’t Bleed

Save our prayers for yourself
I raise my glass to your health
I don’t mind if you don’t look like me.
I can share my bread and wine
I come from another time
It don’t matter all that much if it don’t bleed.

A bit of a strange way to look back and forward in your life. But the song has a lot of energy and nicely connects to the opener. Just a really good listen.

3. Operation Never Mind

The album continues to deliver straight, well-written rock songs with good story telling. David Grissom is adding nice, powerful guitar riffs (like in many songs of the album). A bit of country, a touch of the vibe of former Tom Petty songs and a really nice arrangement – lovely listen!

4. Jackie

For Jackie, the album is slowing down to a mid-tempo song. I love the work on the cello in this song (played by Cameron Stone), which leads to a very majestic sound. Apart from that, James McMurtry again does a lovely performance on the microphone – it is simply enjoyable to listen to him. Great song.

5. Decent Man

My fields are empty now
My ground won’t take the plow
It’s washed down to gravel and stones
It’s only good for burying bones.

A very deep track with a dark, but also very fascinating story. Almost something like dark folk rock. I just keep my mouth open while listening to Decent Man – great lyrics.

6. Vaquero

This song is honoring the screenwriter and photographer Bill Witliff, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 79. The chorus of this track is in Spanish. Not the only thing which makes this song somehow special.

7. The Horses and the Hounds

The title track starts with powerful riffs, but also with a rather dark atmosphere from the very beginning of the song. Cool backing vocals in the chorus by Betty Soo and Akina Adderley – but I also like the groove created by Sean Hurley on the bass. Very nice one!

8. Ft. Walton Wake-Up Call

The eighth song is definitely one of the most memorable tracks on the album. The way how McMurtry describes this phone call in more than five minutes is just so precise, so hilarious. Storytelling at its best, combined with a very nice rock arrangement. Great one.

9. What’s the Matter

What’s the Matter is the third song on the album already released as an album. The song with the short (and not too complex) chorus will definitely cheer up the crowds when this guy is back on stage. Great work on the guitar side as well.

10. Blackberry Winter

The Blackberry Witner gives you a lovely last chance to listen to a story by this artist. This time, the song is giving you a nice groove, a nice sway from the left to the right and back. Nice farewell from The Horses And The Hounds.


James McMurtry – The Horses And The Hounds – Spotify

Here is The Horses And The Hounds on Spotify:


James McMurtry – The Horses And The Hounds – My View

That’s indeed a cool album. James McMurtry gathered the right people to record a great listen. On top of the musical quality on this album, there are the great, picturesque lyrics and the superb vocal performance. This album has too much quality – it just cannot go wrong. A really, really good one!


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