While in college at Texas A&M in 1976, upcoming singer/songwriters Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen swapped a lot of songs on the front porches of Bryan/College Station. Tomorrow night the long-time friends will sit down at The Perot Theater and invite the audience to listen in as they perform tunes they love.
Lovett, an Americana icon, got his start singing in coffee houses, spending a lot of time in Houston at The Old Quarter, learning the business from greats like Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker and Townes Van Zandt. He also learned timing and style from Willis Alan Ramsey.
Through the years, he’s carried the torch for Clark, Van Zandt and Ramsey, covering their tunes and keeping their music in front of new audiences.
He credits Clark with introducing his music to the gatekeepers on Music Row.
“Without Guy Clark, there would have been no Lyle Lovett,” he’s fond of saying. His records almost always include at least one Guy Clark song.
Along the way, Lovett’s earned four Grammys and a legion of loyal fans who continue to support him even though commercial radio doesn’t give him much air time. He’s also dipped his toes into the world of acting.
He lives on his home place in Klein, raising and riding champion cutting horses.
Houston native Robert Earl Keen’s songs have been covered by George Strait, The Dixie Chicks and Nanci Griffith. In his early career, he was lucky to travel with Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt.
“I did about 18 months with Guy and Townes,” Keen said in a 2010 interview. “I caught the last great period of Townes Van Zandt.”
His annual Christmas show tour is a must for any Texas music fan. It’s worth the price of admission just to hear Keen’s hilarious “Merry Christmas From the Family” live and in more-than-living color.
Keen and Lovett were inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.
Tickets to the Texarkana show (Fri. Nov. 4) are limited to the balconies, but any seat is a good seat when it comes to hearing music performed by old friends and two of the best musicians Texas has ever produced. (Call 903-792-4992 or log on to TRAHC.org – Tickets range from $35-$45). The show starts at 7:30 p.m. The Perot is located at 221 Main Street, Texarkana.
Click here to watch Lyle sing “Step Inside This House,” the first song Guy Clark wrote.
Click here to watch Robert Earl Keen sing “Merry Christmas from the Family.”
Click here to watch Lyle and REK “This Old Porch.”