Sunday, August 7, 2016

The 2015/1967 Countdown - 08/07/2016 Update

Today, we look to our 2015 singer-songwriter compilation Laurel Canyon Revelry and focus on South Dakota, my favorite track from James McMurtry's fine 2015 album Complicated Game.

The son of famed Lonesome Dove novelist Larry McMurtry, the now Austin-based James shares his famous father's gift for plain-spoken but poetic prose, and throughout his career has proven quite skilled at crafting sharply detailed portrait miniatures that nonetheless illuminate much larger cultural themes.

South Dakota, the quietly devastating, country-tinged tale of an honorably discharged enlisted man's inability to start a new life for himself on his family's ranch, all due to circumstances beyond his control, is one of his all-time best songs, painting a sad portrait of our nation at this time in our history, a nation where for many young men and women born into less fortunate circumstances, there's more opportunity to be found throwing their lives into harms way overseas than through honest hard work applied back here in the states.

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