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Sunday, June 15, 2008

McMurtry and Escovedo

Last Wednesday night, my wife and I went out to see James McMurtry and Alejandro Escovedo. Though Escovedo played last, we were more interested in McMurtry's set and the crowd seemed to be mostly his as well. Lots of people were singing along to McMurtry's songs, the club was somewhat less crowded during Escovedo's set, and the biggest cheer of the night came following McMurtry's delivery of these lines from "We Can’t Make It Here":
Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I’m in
Should I hate ‘em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
According to a story I read in The Washington Post while on vacation,
Stephen King called McMurtry's first foray into political songwriting the best American protest song since Bob Dylan's epochal "Masters of War."
Escovedo's band was first-rate (including fiddle player Carrie Rodriguez) and his set was very entertaining.

More than twenty years ago, before I'd ever heard of James McMurtry, I used to listen to Escovedo's "cowpunk" band, Rank and File. Yes, I still own the vinyl records.

I'm not sure Headliners was filled to its 600-person capacity, but it was very crowded and I kept running into people I know -- a colleague from Sociology, another from my Department, a DJ friend, and a couple of former students.

It was a fun night.

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