The crossroads of musical forms that, for the most part, can trace their birth to the American South has always been an area with rich soil. Most of the greats in any given genre earned their reputations through liberal cross-pollination of influences, new fusions of existing archetypes that, more often than not, yielded timeless songbooks. Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt are both songwriters who fit this bill – each has, in his own way, dug deep into the loam of country, folk, blues, pop, rock ’n’ roll and early jazz, in the process unearthing some truly striking work.
Lovett brought Texas swing and the influence of greats like Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark to smart, literate, often humorous and always striking story-songs. Hiatt favors rustic, earthy folk, classic R&B and swampy southern blues as raw materials for, like Lovett, the creation of smart, incisive songs.
As it happens, Lovett and Hiatt form a mutual admiration society. The two have toured together in the past, and included a stop at UB’s Center for the Arts that was marked by an easygoing interaction on stage peppered with witty banter and what appeared to be genuine affection for each other’s songs throughout the evening. The two will return to the same setting for a show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, during which they’ll share the stage and trade songs and stories.
Tickets range in price from $42 to $52 general, and $27 for students (box office, UBCFA.org).
– Jeff Miers