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James McMurtry

Live in Europe – 2009 (Lightning Road)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by James McMurtry

The only weakness of James McMurtry's "Live In Europe" is its brevity, clocking in at just over 40 minutes. Recorded in The Netherlands and Germany, McMurtry focuses primarily on songs from his excellent 2008 release "Just Us Kids."

Amongst the stronger tracks are Just Us Kids, a somewhat fatalistic view on aging ("Not so skinny, not so free/ Not so many as we used to be") and You'd A Thought, which also examines the aging process ("There's so much they never tell ya, there's so much they hide away/ You'd a' thought that we'd know better by now").

Other highlights are Hurricane Party and Freeway View. Only Fraulein O. ("Live In Aught Three") and Restless ("Childish Things") are not from "Just Us Kids."

Though listeners may be disappointed that only 8 songs are offered on this impressive live set, a bonus dvd (also about 40 minutes long and featuring We Can't Make It Here) helps satisfy the desire for more material as 2 two songs are repeated.