James McMurtry is a singer-songwriter who has been releasing albums since 1989. He started out as a country artist with an eye towards rock idioms before his interests gradually led to a style that is at the intersection of roots rock and alt country. He has always been a strong songwriter, and has been getting better over the years to the extent that his late career albums are generally regarded as some of his best work to date. There is no question that he also happens to be a first rate storyteller, a tendency that seems to run in his family (see his father, Larry, and son Curtis). That said, his songs are equally strong melodically, and having honed his skills over the years, he delivers them in exactly the way these songs need to be delivered: with his distinctly old, gruff voice that's been there and seen things.
Steve Earle, Todd Snider, Slaid Cleaves
It's a hell of a line: Larry McMurtry is followed by James McMurtry, who is followed by Curtis McMurtry