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Stripped down and delicious

Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen
Fox Theatre
Tucson, AZ
February 15, 2018
Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen
Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen

Review and photos by Frances Sealy

Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen invited Tucson to their guitar-pull style show. Both entertainers are prolific songwriters with lyrics that are slick, witty, and insightful about family and life. They quickly started passing on their wit and wisdom as they started their delightful two and a half hour set.

Lovett and Keen have been friends since they met during their college days at Texas A&M in the 1970s. They shared the same struggles breaking into show business. Through the years they have toured together occasionally. They seem to have a similar sense of humor on and off stage. It is a match made in Texas songwriter heaven.

The stage was sparsely set with two chairs, a rug, and three guitars on each side of each singer. There was the usual microphone set up that separated this from being in someone's living room. It was apparent from the start that these two entertainers have a mutual respect and admiration for each other. They were there to have as much fun as the crowd.

Lovett had finished harmonizing with Keen when he said, "Thank you for letting me sing along." Keen, "Oh man you are always welcome to sing along. It's like adding picante sauce. It's always better with picante." Lovett quipped, "That's about the nicest compliment I ever have gotten."

Later in the show, Lovett remarked, "Robert and I have been sitting around and doing this literally since 1976. We are not usually doing this in front of people. We appreciate you all for letting us pass this off as a show. Robert was really generous to me back when we first met. He let me hang out at his house. There were quite a few people that hung out at Robert's house. They left instruments there. There was always someone to listen to a record with or play a song with even if Robert and his roommate weren't there. Robert never locked the house. He was so gracious and generous that rather than run anybody off, when he had serious work to do, he would simply check into a motel. That's not based on a true story. That is a true story. He never asked me to leave."

They alternated songs back and forth. Lovett did most of the harmonizing and Keen played back up guitar that included some subtle electric guitar. Keen was more boisterous with his banter and his singing. Lovett's wry sense of humor was always present. There didn't seem to be a set list of the songs.

This was a captivating evening with two iconic songwriters and their music, stripped down and delicious. Lovett was asked to come back to Tucson after the show. He responded, "Well, put in a good word for me."
Set List:
1. She's Already Made Up Her Mind (with Lyle Lovett)
2. Sinner Man (with Robert Earl Keen)
3. Election Day (Blaze Foley cover)
4. Corpus Christi Bay (with Robert Earl Keen)
5. Cowboy Man (with Lyle Lovett)
6. The Rose Hotel (with Robert Earl Keen)
7. Record Lady (with Lyle Lovett)
8. Village Inn (with Robert Earl Keen)
9. Merry Christmas From the Family (with Robert Earl Keen)
10. Family Reserve (with Lyle Lovett)
11. Get Ready For Confetti (with Robert Earl Keen)
12. Once Is Enough (with Lyle Lovett)
13. Ride (with Robert Earl Keen)
14. Give Back My Heart (Lyle Lovett cover)
15. The Five Pound Bass (Robert Earl Keen cover)
16. I've Been to Memphis (Lyle Lovett cover)
17. I'm Coming Home (with Robert Earl Keen)
18. Rollin' By (Robert Earl Keen cover) (with Lyle Lovett)
19. Feelin' Good Again (Robert Earl Keen cover)
20. She's No Lady (with Lyle Lovett)
21. Something I Do (with Robert Earl Keen)
22. If I Had a Boat (Lyle Lovett cover)
23. That Buckin' Song (Robert Earl Keen cover)
24. The Front Porch Song (Robert Earl Keen cover)

25. T For Texas (with Robert Earl Keen)
26. Texas 1947 (Guy Clark cover)

Related articles:

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt Concert review - Tucson, AZ - November 2013
Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - March 2012
Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - February 2009
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - July 2008
John Hiatt Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - June 2008
Music City Walk of Fame (John Hiatt) - Nashville, TN - Apr. 2007
John Hiatt / Shawn Colvin Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - Aug. 2007
Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Joe Ely and Guy Clark Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - Jan. 2007
SxSW Festival (Lyle Lovett) Festival review - Austin, TX - Mar. 2005
The 5th Annual Madison Bluesfest (Lyle Lovett) Festival review - Madison, WI - Aug. 2002
Robert Earl Keen (Lollapaloza 2009) - Festival review - Chicago, IL August 2009
Dave Matthews Band w/Jason Mraz and Robert Earl Keen - Concert review - Nashville, TN April 2009

Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett
Robert Earl Keen
Robert Earl Keen
Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett
Robert Earl Keen
Robert Earl Keen
Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen
Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen
Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett
Robert Earl Keen
Robert Earl Keen

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