James McMurtry 

“Cheney’s Toy” by James McMurtry, from Just Us Kids (Lightning Rod Records):

By opening a song with the line I've had enough of this small-town bullshit, Texas roots rocker James McMurtry ensured himself an instant jukebox classic destined to win the hearts of patrons in thousands of bars across this country. Wry and cutting, with a call-it-like-you-see-it approach to lyrics, McMurtry particularly enjoys taking shots at the current administration and the Iraq War. And though he pulls no punches, McMurtry takes his power from restraint, keeping the emotion in his delivery rather than his lyrics. Unlike Steve Earle, for example, he sounds like he's hissing through his teeth rather than shouting anyone down. But like Earle, McMurtry offers a much-needed boot to the ass of the lame jingoism plaguing today's country-music establishment.

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