Alex McMurray | I Will Never Be Alone in This Land

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I Will Never Be Alone in This Land

by Alex McMurray

The latest record from New Orleans song man Alex McMurray evokes both tickles and tears and has a helluva band to boot.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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1. I Will Never Be Alone
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5:29 $0.99
2. As Long as You Let Me
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3:17 $0.99
3. All My Rivers
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3:08 $0.99
4. One Step Away from the Hole
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5:42 $0.99
5. Me and My Bad Luck
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4:45 $0.99
6. The Get Go
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3:51 $0.99
7. The Man Who Shot the Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
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4:33 $0.99
8. Beneath the Rain
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4:41 $0.99
9. I Can't Wait (Until They Turn My Baby Loose)
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3:34 $0.99
10. Texas Again
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5:23 $0.99
11. Otis At the Wheel
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5:12 $0.99
12. Diamonds in Your Hand
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
ALEX MCMURRAY / Will Never Be Alone In This Land
Threadhead THR00051 (CD). 2012. Carlo Nuccio, prod.; Jacques DeLatour
By John Swenson, December 2012 stereophile.com

Alex McMurray is the linchpin of one of the most vibrant music scenes in contemporary America: the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans. This bohemian paradise has its own fringe festival, Chaz Fest, run by the enter-prising McMurray, who plays with the Tin Men, Happy Talk Band, and the Valparaiso Men's Chorus. While his versatile, genre-defying guitar work is a prized asset in local sessions—McMurray is one of the core players at Bywater's recording mecca, Piety Street Studios—his greatest strength is his songwriting. McMurray's compositional imagina-tion seems boundless. He covers as wide a stylistic range as any contempo-rary writer, matching cleverly turned lyrics and story songs with durable melodies and a structural vision that leads to many of his songs having surprise musical twists that match the words' intricacy. "I was tall in the saddle, sick in the soul," he writes in the surrealistic "The Man Who Shot the Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." This syncopated shuffle rides along on a loping sequence of guitar fills that brings the narrator to this nonchalant observation: "String me up or cut me down / it's all the same to me." What really concerns him? "Bury me not in a mohair suit." In a deadpan as droll as Randy Newman's, he boasts, "I was the fastest gun west of Tarzana," a line that might leave you scratching your head if it weren't so cleverly unaf-fected. Whether it's the lamentation in waltz time of "Texas Again," the Peter Gunn—inspired garage rock of "Otis at the Wheel," the mellow gospel-style meditation of the title track, or the frantic brass-band breakdown "Me and My Bad Luck," we're hearing a true original work his magic. —John Swenson

Review of ALEX MCMURRAY / Will Never Be Alone In This Land
David Kunian in Offbeat Magazine Nov 2012

The Grand Sultan of St. Claude (and other streets) songwriting, Alex McMurray is among the best songwriters in New Orleans, a man who over the past two decades has written songs that mark our lives, deaths, loves, hates, hangovers, and what comes before and after those excesses. Buy on Amazon His new record is another set of excellent songs that will insinuate themselves subtly into listeners’ ears, to the point they will become part of all our lexicons. All of McMurray’s personas are here: the soulful philosopher of “One Step Away From the Hole,” the wild hedonist of “Me and My Bad Luck,” and, of course, the recurring lunatic on the lam Otis, who on this record has taken up with the circus. The album has the usual great turns of phrase mixing film noir atmosphere, pulp detective novels, and the unique language of the Crescent City that leave us with people making wishes over 30 cent cigars and Chicago chippies drinking from gerbil jars. McMurray’s great guitar playing is in full display with its chunky rhythms and about-to-go-off-the-rails solos — but with the greater use of horns, it has less weight to carry and sounds all the more refreshing when it cuts through the mix. The horns make this record different than previous McMurray efforts in that it has a wider and more varied sound. Previous McMurray records kept mainly to the folk and rock realm, but this one moves into southern soul territory with “As Long As You Let Me,” killer brass band riffs in “Me and My Bad Luck,” the Beatles-esque cadences of “Beneath The Rain,” trad jazz call and response with “I Can’t Wait (Until They Turn My Baby Loose),” and ‘60s garage with “Otis At The Wheel.” In fact, the record encompasses the current sound of New Orleans more than anything he or most musicians have done before (aside from a lack of bounce track, but there’s always a remix possibility). If you want to know what’s happening in the New Orleans singer/songwriter world, check out Alex McMurray.

Review of ALEX MCMURRAY / Will Never Be Alone In This Land
Leigh Checkman Antigravity Magazine Nov 2012

ALEX MCMURRAY I WILL NEVER BE ALONE IN THIS LAND (THREADHEAD)
It's been a couple of years since his last Solo album, but Alex McMurray hasn't been idle. Between the Valparaiso Men's Chorus, the Tin Men, the Tom Paines and his many other bands and live appearances, it's almost a wonder he can make his solo voice heard above the pulsing heartbeat of the scene to which he's melded. Thank goodness for his stellar songwriting and for the incredible instrumental backup in ample evidence on I Will Never Be Alone In This Land, a work that occasionally refers to 2010's How To Be A Cannonball but moves well beyond it in scope. More chances are taken with the melodies in Alone, its first few beautiful songs building up to "Me And My Bad Luck," a raucous centerpiece that goes to town and falls repeatedly in the gutter with the help of great brass work from a tight crew that includes Matt Perrine and trumpeter Mark Braud. In fact, Alone is a great instance of commanding musicians, allowing McMurray to become looser with his songs and slink through seductive tunes like "The Get Go" without completely losing the edgy country, folk and garage rock thread he continues to pick up and saunter with whenever he can. The use of horns on songs like "The Man Who Shot The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and the lovely "Beneath The Rain" are blatant examples, but the stronger musical decisions go deeper than that. On Cannonball, some extra sound effects were used that seemed beside the point, perhaps quirky just to be quirky but on "Texas Again," the crackling fire and musical saw really do serve the song. McMurray is a man confident in his craft but it's a confidence that will keep you on your toes, dancing with intense glee. --Leigh Checkman


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