The Paradise Theatre, Paonia CO
James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards
Paradise Theatre
Paonia, CO
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Hope you enjoyed yourself, and we'll see you again soon. The Paradise


James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards
The Paradise Theatre welcomes to the stage, Austin-based artist James McMurtry and The Heartless Bastards performing on Thursday, February 25th at 8:00 pm.

The Texas native, James McMurtry, has long been known as an astute, clear-eyed observer and concise, no-holds-barred chronicler of the human condition. These recent years have found James McMurtryâs many skills steadily coalescing into an increasingly substantial, formidable whole: the voice, the tunes, the stories and the musicianship have become elementally interwoven to create the inimitable fabric of a distinct, singular artist whoâs determined to get to the heart of the matter, shake things up and do whatever it takes to make a difference. In his regular column for Entertainment Weekly, noted author (and passionate rock ânâ roll enthusiast) Stephen King cited McMurtry as âthe truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation.â

The son of acclaimed author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment), James grew up on a steady diet of Johnny Cash and Roy Acuff records. His first album, released in 1989, was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill.  2005âs Childish Things garnered some of the highest critical praise of McMurtryâs career and spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006. In September 2006, Childish Things and "We Can't Make It Here" won the Americana Music Awards for album and song of the year, respectively. McMurtry received more Americana Music Award nominations for 2008âs Just Us Kids.

The Washington Post noted McMurtryâs live prowess: âMuch attention is paid to James McMurtry's lyrics, and rightfully so: He creates a novel's worth of emotion and experience in four minutes of blisteringly stark couplets. What gets overlooked, however, is that he's an accomplished rock guitar player. At a sold-out Birchmere, the Austin-based artist was joined by drummer Daren Hess and bassist Ronnie Johnson in a set that demonstrated the raw power of wince-inducing imagery propelled by electric guitar. It was serious stuff, imparted by a singularly serious band.â

While he insists that âthe majority of the songs are not political,â itâs clear that heâs not even close to abandoning his burgeoning role as a searing political gadfly.  Recently, McMurtry has performed to audiences across Europe and has a new album Live in Europe which features fellow Texas songwriting legend Jon Dee Graham.

McMurtryâs own guitar work tends to be overlooked relative to his spectacular tunesmithing, but despite his poor-mouthing â âI canât afford to pay to have it done, so I had to learn how to do it myselfâ â itâs a flinty, muscular style perfectly suited to punctuate and emphasize his cogent, acerbic revelations. The core band throughout is McMurtry on guitar, his longtime road band The Heartless Bastards (bassist Ronnie Johnson and drummer Daren Hess) and âguest Bastardâ Ian McLagan (The Faces) on keys.

Donât miss this exceptional artist at an intimate venue.  Tickets are on sale at as well as at the Paradise Box Office and KVNF in Paonia. For more information or to listen to some of his music, please visit his website at


Paradise Theatre
215 Grand Avenue
Paonia, CO 81428
United States



Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No