Curtis McMurtry

Respectable Enemy (Berkalin)

Texas Platters

Pedigree doesn't guarantee talent, but Curtis McMurtry clearly inherited a deep narrative inclination from his father and grandfather. That familial tradition surfaces in the 23-year-old's character-driven songs and thoroughly realized, detailed settings, though the scion's debut LP also begins carving out his own distinct path. Signaled at the outset with the southwestern sway and Calexico-brushed horns of "Ghost in My Bed," McMurtry's sound issues with diverse styles throughout, aided by notables including Will Sexton on guitar and Warren Hood on violin, with Diana Burgess shading the songwriter's low, sleepy drawl with a gentle harmony and cello. McMurtry's vocals still need to be grown into, but lyrically he already turns arresting phrases: the worn relationship of "Foxhole," nostalgic lilt of "Eleanor's House," jagged and brooding "Down to the Wire," and swooning dread of "Ezekiel." Perhaps the greatest testament is his father's "Gulf Road" inserted almost indistinguishably amid his own compositions. Respectable Enemy signals a bright future for one of Texas' greatest cultural dynasties.

***

READ MORE
More Curtis McMurtry
These Things I've Come to Know
These Things I've Come to Know
A week in the life of James McMurtry

Jim Caligiuri, Feb. 13, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Silas Lowe
Wandering Father, Forgotten Son (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Dec. 2, 2016

Texas Platters
Shawn Pander
Black & White (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Dec. 2, 2016

More by Doug Freeman
Paul Cauthen’s Deep Country Gospel
Paul Cauthen’s Deep Country Gospel
Former Sons of Fathers frontman’s solo debut deals out one of the best country albums of the year

Nov. 25, 2016

Texas Platters
William Clark Green
Live at Gruene Hall (Record Review)

Nov. 25, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Curtis McMurtry

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)