Curtis McMurtry (from the album The Hornet’s Nest
Curtis McMurtry erases any views of Folk music as one-dimensional on his recent release, The Hornet’s Nest. The album presents words and music as a kaleidoscope of possibilities. Curtis opens up his heart within the story lines and widens the scope of melodies in the songs with his own use of multiple stringed instruments as he is backed by cello, upright bass, and trumpet. The Hornet’s Nest buzzes with all of the diversity found within Americana. Curtis confesses unconditional love as an opening statement on the album’s first track, “Hard Stone Blues”. Curtis McMurtry studied ethnomusicology (the study of the music of different cultures), and the lessons learned manifest on the tracks of The Hornet’s Nest as “Wrong Inflection” dances with a hint of flamenco in its steps while “Can’t Be Better” balances between Old English Folk and chamber music. “Bayonet” thrusts with the sadness of a sea shanty and “Love Me More” shimmers with gypsy Jazz strums at home in French cabarets.
A lonely trumpet paves the way for the indecision that is the glue that holds the story of “Rebecca” in place while dappled notes are the skeleton frame for “Smooth as Thorns”, and a rhythm trudges underneath a tale of what-if for a relationship teetering between love and loss. The Hornet’s Nest wears a variety of styles, Curtis McMurtry the common thread as he guides the album with judgments as advice in “Shot at the Table”, wades through a molasses thick rhythm as if wandering in a dream on “Tracker”, and gently plucks chords to nurture “Together for Now” as it enjoys the moment while ignoring the storm ahead.