Two iconic Texas singer/songwriters, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen, turn two of Montana’s finest theaters into their front porch for two special acoustic shows, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at the Alberta Bair in Billings and 8 p.m March 18 at Th Wilma in Missoula.
These two old friends will swap songs on acoustic guitars like they used to do on Keen’s front porch in College Station, Texas, when they co-wrote “The Front Porch Song,” which both artists later recorded on their respective debut albums. Since then they’ve recorded nearly 30 albums between their two careers.
For nearly three decades, Lovett has defined the modern Texas singer-songwriter. Fusing elements of the blues, country, folk, gospel and jazz, the four-time Grammy winner – in a career that spans 15 albums and more than four million records sold – has created his own style of Americana, defying convention and breaking down barriers along the way.
Singer/songwriter Keen has built a reputation as one of the nation’s finest musical storytellers, guided by self-imposed rules and traditions that are often the antithesis of music industry standards. Both he and Lovett have been inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In an interview with the Houston Chronicle’s Andrew Dansby, Lovett said, “A lot of the professional caution that one might exercise working with someone who’s merely a colleague we’re able to disregard because we’re friends.” To which Keen replies, “That was really well said. You’re like a (expletive) diplomat. I’m going to write that down. Did you write that down? You want to email me that?”
Tickets are $25-$75 for the Billings show and available at the Alberta Bair Theater Box Office, on the corner of 3rd Ave N and N. Broadway, by phone at 406-256-6052 and online at www.albertabairtheater.org. Box office hours are Monday through Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Tickets to the Wilma show are $59-$75 and go on sale Dec. 11; visit thewilma.com.