Guy Clark, Joe Ely, John Hiatt, Lyle Lovett

The Songwriters Tour

Clowes Memorial Hall

Sunday, Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m., $44-$52

“I just envy the boots those guys wear,” says John Hiatt of his Texan touring mates Guy Clark, Joe Ely and Lyle Lovett. Hiatt, an Indianapolis native, returns home Sunday for The Songwriters Tour. Legendary in their craft, all four artists will perform at Butler University’s Clowes Memorial Hall.

Hiatt has written countless songs, including “Have a Little Faith in Me,” as covered by Jewel, and “Sure As I’m Sitting Here,” as covered and carried to the charts by Three Dog Night. His acoustic mastery and smoky voice bring the foundations of country into a modern rock world.

The tour promotes the artists’ new material and provides each fan with long-adored favorites.

Lovett will perform songs from his 2005 album, My Baby Don’t Tolerate. Clark will showcase tunes from his 2006 Workbench Songs. Ely will tap into his 2003 album Streets of Sin, and Hiatt will perform his 2005 Master of Disaster.

“As musicians, we’re the worst communicators in the world,” Hiatt says. “We haven’t really checked up on each other.” It just so happens each has a project to promote, allowing all four artists a good opportunity to load up the trucks and hit the road. It’s more of a coincidence and less of a plan that lets these guys saddle up for their 15th national tour.

“Sixteen years ago, the Country Music Foundation just sort of threw us together,” Hiatt says. Now, the founding fathers of storytelling are touring together by choice.

Their most aggressive tour yet, the songsters will hit 15 U.S. cities.

But for Hiatt, Indianapolis brings back memories of old.

“I’ve left a few brain cells at the Patio,” he jokes. As a performer and spectator, Hiatt remembers his journey into music as it began right here in the Circle City.

Recalling his first time seeing the awe-inspiring Cream, Hiatt shares his fondness for a certain Indianapolis stage.

“I saw them for the first time at Clowes,” he says. “It’s unbelievable. Now I’m the one playing.”


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