Next of Keen: Cult favorites often get that way because of a quirk; for guitarist Robert Earl Keen, it's an oddball brand of deadpan humor that's just weird enough to elicit double takes wherever he plays. But on that second look, you'll usually discover that Keen has a serious side, too, one that's alive with an outlaw's pathos and a weary, rippling voice reminiscent of vintage Jerry Jeff Walker. Public radio's E-Town, in the midst of a magnificent string of live-audience shows, features Keen tonight, along with label-mate and female songwriting wunderkind Abra Moore, at 6:30 at the Boulder Theater, 2030 14th St., Boulder. E-Town then continues on its roll tomorrow with Weissenborn-strumming pop individualist Ben Harper and a helping of Louisiana zydeco courtesy of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, a traditional bayou band as authentic as a swamp-front crawfish boil. That show also begins at 6:30; tickets for either night are $9 in advance ($11 day of show). Call 786-7030.
The old man down the road: No one keeps on chooglin' better than John Fogerty, once the heartbeat and voice of Creedence Clearwater Revival and still a grand old man of the roots-rock genre. His appropriately named Blue Moon Swamp Tour stops in tonight at 8 at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl.; for tickets, ranging from $25 to $35, call 830-TIXS.
The price is right: The organizers of Su Teatro in the Park must have a funnybone: The local Chicano theater group will present No Se Paga, No Se Paga (We Won't Pay, We Won't Pay) during the first of two weekends of free bilingual performances in Civic Center Park's Greek Amphitheater, and you won't pay, either. Dario Fo's farce is long on humor, depicting--a la The Honeymooners--a pair of wacky barrio couples wrapped up in battling political corruption, hysterical pregnancies and all the usual stuff. Performances begin at 8 tonight through Sunday; next weekend (August 21-23), Su Teatro returns to the park with Las Noches de Bellas Artes, a showcase of Latino dance and music that's also free. Civic Center Park is located at 14th and Acoma streets; roasted corn, hotdogs and ice cream will be available both weekends. For more information call 296-0219.
Revival of the fittest: It seems more energy gets expended at one old-fashioned revival meetin' than most of us burn off in a week. After befriending an evangelist on a 1993 trip to South Carolina and becoming fascinated by the reverend's congregation, photographer Stanley Lanzano's greatest challenge became rendering that religious gusto with heart and soul intact--a challenge he met with flying colors. Joyously captured on film in mid-flight at rural black A.M.E. and Baptist churches, the images of Lanzano's pictorial exhibit, Lord, I Wish I Had a Prayin' Church Tonight, will make you feel the rafters shake. And shots of a funeral may make you mourn. "I'm hopelessly drawn to these people," Lanzano says. "Not only their spiritual activities but their daily lives, their comings and goings." His work opens today at the Boulder Public Library's exhibit space; the show continues through August 31. A free reception begins tonight at 5; for information call 441-4492.
Jonesin': You can't say Stax without thinking of Booker T. Jones, a brilliant mastermind of the soul groove whose nimble fingerprints, along with those of MG's bandmates Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn and Al Jackson, are all over Memphis-based pop music of the '60s: Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Sam & Dave are just the cream of the countless acts benefiting from Jones's solid backup. The man, a multi-instrumentalist whose subtle direction powered hits from "Green Onions" to "Soul Man," turns up for a solo stint tonight at 7:30 at the Arvada Center outdoor amphitheater, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.; it's a must for devoted soul-music lovers. Tickets are $10 for general lawn seating or $17 for reserved covered seating; call 431-3939.
Legendary fetes: You've heard his rampant defining influences spewed by everyone in pop music from Tom Petty to the Bangles. The ringing sound of a Rickenbacker twelve-string guitar still reverberates through the rock tradition today, thanks mainly to Byrds founder Roger McGuinn, whose soaring, bell-like riffs carried the seminal folk-rock band's tight harmonies eight miles high back in the '60s. A concert by such a godlike individual would probably hold most music lovers till the millennium, but this one's only half over: Joining McGuinn tonight at 8 at Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, is Loudon Wainwright III, an outrightly original songwriter who sings dryly and wryly about the vagaries of life better than just about anyone else. It's a whopper. Tickets range from $17 to $20; call 440-7666 or 830-TIXS.
Like nearly everything else, they also grow legends--including the musical ones--big in Texas, and some of the best will be in town tonight as part of the Swallow Hill Music Association's Best of Texas Series. San Antonio-born singer-songwriter Tish Hinojosa may encompass the Lone Star aura better than anyone this side of Doug Sahm, easing effortlessly between the conjunto, country and folk traditions that seem to perch on trees down there as thickly as mockingbirds--and she has a strong, sweet voice to match. The same is true of singing spouses Bill and Bonnie Hearne, known to everyone on the Texas songwriting circuit, from Lyle Lovett to Nanci Griffith, for their wonderful vocal rapport and folksy taste and feel. Lovett and Griffith, along with a fair parcel of other Texas legends join the Hearnes on their new Warner/Western CD, Diamonds in the Rough, but tonight the Hearnes pair up deliciously with Tish at 8 at the Oriental Theater, 4335 W. 44th Ave. Admission is $15 ($13 Swallow Hill members); call 1-800-444-SEAT or 777-1003.