Though Curtis McMurtry is only 25 years of age, many of the characters in his songs seem to have given up on life decades ago. His debut solo album Respectable Enemy chronicles the narrations of unapologetically bitter individuals still haunted by the ghosts of lovers and friends they have long since driven away. From the doomed narrator of “Foxhole” to the resigned nostalgia of “Eleanor’s House” Curtis writes to break your heart into sharp, jagged pieces.
Curtis was born and raised in Austin, Texas and grew up listening to local songwriters like Matt The Electrician, Jon Dee Graham, and his father, James McMurtry. From 2009-2013 Curtis studied music composition and ethnomusicology at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, primarily writing contemporary chamber music for banjo and strings. In 2013, Curtis moved to Nashville for a year to sharpen his songwriting skills by co-writing with veteran writers including Fred Koller and Guy Clark. Curtis has since moved back to Austin where he often performs as a trio with cellist Diana Burgess (of Mother Falcon), and trumpeter Nathan Calzada.
“Backed by a stand-up bass, cello and occasionally a horn section, the 24-year-old McMurtry epitomizes the catch-all nature of Americana” – Rollingstone.com
“Simply put, at 23, McMurtry’s dark and deep debut solo album, Respectable Enemy, marks him as a world-class talent who not just stands on his own merits, but soars on them.”
– Thomas Gerbasi, New York Examiner