John Prine, Jim Lauderdale

I've always been a sucker for a good lyric. Friends and family know I'm prone to well up simply recalling some of the great songs that I've committed to memory over the years. (At least Flight of the Conchords finally gave me a good excuse for when this happens: "My eyes are just a little sweaty today.")

But, without a doubt, the songwriter that has over the years brought on the tears in equal measure of laughter and sorrow is John Prine, who makes a rare appearance this week at SMU's McFarlin Auditorium. A keen reporter of life on the lower rungs of society filtered through a Midwestern sensibility, Prine has written songs that capture the damage done to veterans of war, the heartache of growing old, and just plain zaniness of human relations. With easy and generally hilarious stage banter, Prine measures up to the likes of Tom Waits as a classic storyteller and songwriter's songwriter.

Opening is Nashville-based songwriter Jim Lauderdale, whose songs have been covered by a litany of Nashville stars including the Dixie Chicks and George Strait.

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Doug Davis