Since his beginnings in the Texas folk scene nearly four decades ago, Robert Earl Keen has achieved pioneer status in the Americana music world. Coming up in the company of Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Joe Ely and Lyle Lovett, Keen has long been regarded one of the Lone Star State’s finest true singer-songwriters. He has been touring off and on in a duo show with Lovett over the past two years. In his SMF debut, Keen fronts his seasoned band including Marty Muse on steel guitar, Bill Whitbeck on bass and Tom Van Schaik on drums, also welcoming recently added members Brian Beken (Milkdrive) on fiddle and guitar and Kym Warner (The Greencards) on mandolin.
Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore have been friends for 30 years, but only recently started playing music together. Though Texas-born Gilmore was twice named Country Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone, and California native Alvin first came to fame in the hard-rocking rhythm and blues band The Blasters, they discovered that their musical roots in old blues and folk music are much the same. Backed by their band the Guilty Ones, Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s duo shows include originals and songs from a variety of songwriters, from Merle Haggard to Sam Cooke to the Youngbloods. Jimmie Dale Gilmore last performed at SMF in 2012 with The Flatlanders, and this is Dave Alvin’s SMF debut.