Musical legends in Texas are not hard to find, but rounding up two or three of them and getting them to visit Arkansas is not always that easy.
One of them -- Bob Livingston -- will stop in central Arkansas on Friday night and then head to Northwest Arkansas to join his former band mate, John Inmon (they have been together in the Lost Gonzo Band, on and off, since 1972), and their pal Bobby Bridger, who has pursued his own muse on a path through the West once traveled by his great-great-uncle, Jim Bridger. The threesome will do shows in Rogers on Saturday and Sunday.
Austin Legends: Bob Livingston, John Inmon and Bobby Bridger
Livingston solo: 7-10 p.m. Friday, Kent Walker Artisan Cheese, 323 S. Cross St., Little Rock
Full lineup: 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Frisco Station-Main Stage, Main Street Rogers Oktoberfest, Rogers
Full lineup: 3-6 p.m. Sunday, Ozark Beer Co., 1700 S. First St., Rogers
They have played together and with others for more than four decades. Their resumes include stints with Michael Martin Murphey, Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Steve Fromholz and Gary P. Nunn.
Livingston -- who has toured for years not just around Texas but all over the world doing shows for the U.S. State Department -- has been the most frequent visitor to Arkansas, at least in recent years, as he has traveled several times to The Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, where he has been at work at that writers retreat on a memoir.
"A lot of times, some of the folks in foreign lands have told me they like my stories more than my singing," Livingston says with a laugh. "So eventually I got the message, and decided to write a book about my life and times. And my alma mater, if I can say that about Texas Tech University when I didn't graduate, will be publishing it."
Cautioned about talking too much about Texas Tech after a recent football game in Northwest Arkansas, which was won by Texas Tech, Livingston was off and running with a story about another famous Razorback defeat, the so-called "Big Shootout" in 1969, when the University of Texas squeaked past the Hogs.
"Someone made a documentary about that game," he says, "and they have a scene where Darrell Royal and Frank Broyles are singing 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken,' and they also wanted to use 15 seconds of a Creedence Clearwater Revival song, until they learned it would cost them $20,000. So they asked me if I could write something for them, which I did."
Livingston and Inmon connected when they became part of a group of musicians that backed Murphey and then Walker, before splitting off on their own as the Lost Gonzo Band, which also featured Nunn and others. The band members still get together to play at times. Livingston has made 20 albums with Walker, six with the Gonzos, two each with Murphey and Ray Wylie Hubbard and nine solo recordings. His latest CD, Gypsy Alibi, won the Album of the Year award at the Texas Music Awards in 2011.
Inmon, who calls himself "a hired gun" as a guitarist for Townes Van Zandt, Marcia Ball, Hubbard, Delbert McClinton, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and others, has been assembling a tribute album to the late prolific but reclusive Arkansas singer-songwriter Frank Wood.
Bridger, who was born Robert Durham, has written a biography of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody and recorded a four-CD set of songs about the Old West from the perspective of Cody, pioneers and the Lakota Sioux. He also paints and does one-man shows. Inmon and Bridger recently released an album, Vagabond Heart.
"I'll do my show Friday night in Little Rock," Livingston says, "and I'm not sure how we'll do things in Rogers. John can play with anybody on the planet, and he and Bobby have their thing, and John and I go way back. We've played about a million gigs together and John and I played on one of Bobby's records and I was in one of Bobby's plays in Cody, Wyo., so we have a lot of common ground to cover, musically and otherwise."
Style on 09/29/2015
Print Headline: Texan Livingston crosses border for LR show