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An epic week for country fans

Country superduperstar Miranda Lambert visits the Tacoma Dome Thursday night, Feb. 1. Photo credit: Randee St. Nicholas

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Despite our admiration for Americana, roots and other traditional forms of music, Washingtonians sometimes fail to give country-western music the respect it deserves. Still, tickets are going fast for the upcoming Miranda Lambert concert at the Tacoma Dome, so we know there's an enthusiastic crowd of readers out there amped to get their boot-scootin' boogie on. Luckily for them, this week our region welcomes a trinity of venerated country acts.

Even the snootiest audio connoisseur must give it up for Lyle Lovett, the crossover-hit factory whose eponymous, debut album spawned two hits in 1986. He earned international buzz for his third album, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, and gold certifications for each of his four albums in the 1990s. He racked up a quartet of Grammy Awards including Best Country Album (for The Road to Ensenada) and Best Country Performance. Meanwhile, director Robert Altman cast him in a string of films, including memorable appearances in The Player and Short Cuts. He played a recurring character, lawyer Monte Flagman, on FX's The Bridge. Now he's touring with singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen, whose songs have been covered by Lovett, the Dixie Chicks, country supergroup The Highwaymen and George Strait.

Rosanne Cash (photo credit:

If your dad were the immortal Johnny Cash, you'd have to be some kind of musical powerhouse to stand apart from his shadow. Such is the talent of Rosanne Cash. In 1978, after her father recorded a song she wrote, she teamed with (and soon married) Rodney Crowell. That led to her first American album, Right or Wrong, which yielded three top-30 hits. Her next album, Seven Year Ache, was a crossover smash, with three singles hitting the top position on the Billboard country chart. Cash won a vocal Grammy for "I Don't Know Why You Want Me," another number-one hit, in 1985. Two years later, her four number-one country hits from King's Record Shop included a catchy cover of her father's "Tennessee Flat Top Box" -- although she claims she had no idea it was his when she recorded it. Johnny called the cover among his "greatest fulfillments." She's on the road with John Leventhal, who's produced and performed on albums by Cash, Crowell, Michelle Branch, Shawn Colvin and Loudon Wainwright III.

Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett (photo credit:

Then there's Lambert, who, at the age of 34, has accrued Grammys aplenty, not to mention the American Country Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year each of the last eight years in a row. What she hasn't won on her own, she's amassed with the aid of her band project, Pistol Annies, since 2011. Aside from dozens of country hits, she's hit the Billboard Hot 100 some 19 times with probable dozens to go. Her current tour supports her most recent (2016) album The Weight of These Wings, of which over 400,000 copies have been sold. Last summer, she promised Billboard we'd see a third Pistol Annies album later this year. "There's been a shift," she told W magazine. "Country music is popular music now. Every other genre wants to come over to our land." Well ... We'll see!

AN EVENING WITH LYLE LOVETT AND ROBERT EARL KEEN, 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 26, Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, $39-$110, 253.591.5894; 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 27, The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, $72-$110, 360.753.8586

ROSANNE CASH WITH JOHN LEVENTHAL, 7:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 29, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, $45-$72, 360.753.8586

MIRANDA LAMBERT LIVIN' LIKE HIPPIES TOUR, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 1, Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma, $39.75-$79.92, 253.272.3663

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