Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Outside on State Street in Troy, there were two big bright shiny tour buses and a huge tractor trailer. On stage inside the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, there were two straight-back chairs, four acoustic guitars and two sublime singer-songwriters. Heck, you could have fit it all into a station wagon.
Old friends Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt have been doing this sit-down, back-and-forth guitar pull thing for years. Before that, they did it as a trio with Joe Ely. And before that, it was a quartet of tunesmiths with Ely and Guy Clark. So it’s clear that they’ve honed in on each other in almost every way, and they know their onstage roles.
And make no mistake, their between-tune patter is as essential to their show as their songs. Dry as the Sahara and rarely cracking even a smile, Lovett plays the straight man/inquisitor, asking questions to the rubber-faced Hiatt, who steers his response to the comic side of the street and cracks up at the drop of a hat. Heck, I’d pay good money to see these guys together onstage even if they didn’t play a single song all night. They’re like the Rowan & Martin of the pre-Americana set.