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Lyle Lovett & Robert Earl Keen at The Pikes Peak Center show preview 

click to enlarge Lyle Lovett & Robert Earl Keen, Sunday, Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m., pikespeakcenter.com. - MICHAEL WILSON
  • Michael Wilson
  • Lyle Lovett & Robert Earl Keen, Sunday, Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m., pikespeakcenter.com.
When Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt toured together in years past, their shows were nearly as much about them swapping stories as playing songs. Now, Lovett and fellow Texan Robert Earl Keen are taking a similar approach, sharing center stage with a couple of stools, an assortment of acoustic guitars, and a bottomless supply of dry humor. Of the two, Keen supplies the gruffer vocal style and subject matter — “You’d be surprised what a donkey ride and tequila will do to a woman” he sings on “Gringo Honeymoon” — while Lovett can be counted on for the more off-kilter lyrics like “I don’t go for fancy cars, for diamond rings or movie stars / I go for penguins, oh Lord, I go for penguins.” Yet, like John Prine and Randy Newman before them, both artists know how to tug at their audience’s heartstrings, with a musical and emotional versatility that can make their typically 21/2 hour shows feel almost too short.

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