Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Guy Clark, & Joe Ely
January 13, 2007
The Songwriters Tour, a collective of sharp male singer songwriters, invaded Cincinnati, Ohio's Aronoff Center on January 13 for the first stop on a national winter tour. Comprised of Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Guy Clark and Joe Ely, the ensemble had enough material to span two evenings.
Initiating the procedure in a round robin fashion, Guy Clark stuck largely to his 1995 release Dublin Blues, working in "Black Diamond Strings" and "The Cape" with a weariness that suited his veteran desperado image and warm wrinkled, twinkling smile.
John Hiatt was the go-to musician of the evening, as everyone assembled leaned against his stellar acoustic and electric guitar picking. He enlivened his songs with a gruff raspy voice, bringing a down to earth quality to gems, "Crossing Muddy Waters" and "Have a Little Faith in Me."
Lovett remained the guest host and impromptu jokester for the night, peppering his selections with his trademark off-beat wit and sardonic sense of humor. He summoned many in the crowd to sing along to his straightforward crooning on "I Love Everybody" and "My Baby Don't Tolerate."
But, the smallest member of the Songwriters Tour also had the largest stage presence as Joe Ely projected to the back end of the hall on "All Just to Get to You" and a spare, scintillating version of "I Wanna Slow You Down" from 1992's Love and Danger album.
The entire group returned to the stage to encore with an updated take on Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" to send the sold out and fulfilled patrons in Cincinnati home with vivid memories of the power of the composition via songwriters' Lovett, Ely, Hiatt and Clark.