Light Snow, James McMurty, a Neighborhood, and a Fine Winter Song


"Light snow falling/ on the muffler shops and lumber yards". James McMurty, you got me. The folk master somehow describes my neighborhood in Middletown, CT perfectly in his winter-scene setting tune "Outskirts". I live in the place where the residential zone and industrial zone meet- with an old Remington factory, a tow truck stop, the town dump, a freight train line, a working class neighborhood, and the Coginchaug and Mattabesset rivers all converging within a stones throw of my dwelling place. It's perfectly New England, with the spunky downtown, industrial decay, and Dunkin Donuts all living together as one. McMurty's from Texas, but it doesn't matter. He documents a the emotional landscape of a New England winters day with as much precision as Robert Frost (sorry about the hyperbole). Here, a steady acoustic guitar along with a full band of drums and bass follow the story of a winters day, of muffled heat inside and wet snow out, as the landscape gets covered in white.



Popular Posts

"Torch Songs" and "Cast Iron Ballads": Deep Cuts from the Planet Waves Era

Review: Bob Dylan at the Oakdale Theatre

Peace, Bullets, Schools, Chaos, Life, and The Drive by Truckers

Along for the Ride with Tell Tale Signs

Jeff Lynne's on the Phone

If Street Legal was the Question, Bob Hopped on the Slow Train for the Answer

"Tangled Up In Blue": What's the Best Version?

This Train is Bound For Glory: Blood on the Tracks

Lost in a Dream: Bob Dylan, 1967-1974

1968: The Songs that Went the Other Way