James McMurtry – Too Long in the Wasteland

Posted 01 Sep 2011 in 80s, Albums of 1989, Albums of the 80s, Americana

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#483 in the Series) is James McMurtry,  Too Long in the Wasteland

James McMurtry’s Too Long in the Wasteland hit the streets in 1989 with a huge push from Columbia Records, as it should have. This was one of the best records of the year, much less one of the best debut albums.

You’re probably familiar with his story, but if you’re not, James is the son of long time writer Lawrence McMurtry.   He being the 1985 Pulitzer Prize winning author of Lonesome Dove and many more familiar workings.

So, tell me a little more about “Too Long in the Wasteland” you say. Well, it was produced by John Mellencamp… and you can tell.  It features most of his band during that period as well. Larry Crane and David Grissom on guitar, Kenny Aronoff on drums, John Casella on keys.  John’s bassist, Toby Myers is also on the album but he only add his voice.  Long-time Nashville musician Dave Pomeroy added the bass.

“Paint by Numbers” leads off the album. I swear I can always tell when it’s Kenny Aronoff on drums.  This was the first single off the album and did well on rock radio.

“Too Long in the Wasteland” was probably the second most recognizable song.

All these songs were written by McMurtry.  You shouldn’t be surprised that he’s a heck of a lyricist.  You know where he got his chops.

This is Americana music at its best. If that’s your music genre of choice than I highly recommend James McMurtry’s music, specially, Too Long In the Wasteland.

— Larry Carta

 Track Listing

  1. Painting by Numbers -4:49
  2. Terry – 3:34
  3. Shining Eyes – 4:13
  4. Outskirts – 4:12
  5. Song for a Deck Hand’s Daughter – 3:34
  6. I’m Not from Here – 4:14
  7. Too Long in the Wasteland – 4:04
  8. Crazy Wind – 4:10
  9. Poor Lost Soul – 3:32
  10. Angeline – 4:08
  11. Talkin’ at the Texaco – 4:10


  • James McMurtry – Guitar,  Vocals
  • Kenny Aronoff – Drums, Percussion
  • John Casella – Keyboards
  • Ashley Cleveland – Vocals (Background)
  • Larry Crane – Guitar,  Vocals (Background)
  • Jerry Deupree – Drums, Percussion
  • Rick Fettig – Clarinet, Vocals (Background)
  • David Grissom – Guitar, Vocals (Background)
  • Mimi Mapes – Vocals (Background)
  • Toby Myers – Vocals (Background)
  • Dave Pomeroy – Bass, Vocals (Background)



Posted by Larry Carta

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