Hearne joins Evenings with the Songwriter


Special to the LPR

Celebrated artist Michael Hearne joins Evenings with the Songwriter at the historic Dr. Eugene Clark Library Tuesday, March 28, at 7 p.m. The event is free to the public. This monthly series continues in its 11th season, hosted and produced by Lockhart songwriter Fletcher Clark.

Hearne’s destiny has been tangled in wire and wood since he first laid his hands on a guitar in his childhood hometown of Dallas. By age 16, he had honed his skills on the guitar and, without a doubt in his mind about his destiny, he hit the road as a touring musician. The next few decades would take him across the southwest and beyond. With the mountains of northern New Mexico as home for many years, Hearne toured with Michael Martin Murphey and penned songs for Jerry Jeff Walker and Gary P. Nunn.

Hearne’s anthem, ‘New Mexico Rain,’ was recorded by country music legend Johnny Rodriguez and by his folk-legend uncle and aunt, Bill and Bonnie Hearne. Hearne has also co-written with Mentor Williams, Andy Byrd, Shake Russell, Keith Sykes, and others.

Making a name for himself in his chosen hometown of Taos, Hearne began his Big Barn Dance Music Festival in 2003, now an annual three-day event featuring the best songwriters and performers in Americana, Bluegrass, Country, Singer-Songwriter and everything in between, attracting music aficionados from across the United States. Hearne will be found on-stage, adding his signature sound to the music of his friends and peers, or just to the side, soaking in the music and preparing to introduce the next talented act to an enraptured audience.

With his 2011 Nashville album ‘Life in America’ in hand, Hearne packed his bags for the nation’s other country music mecca — Austin. There, he teamed up with renowned Americana songwriter Shake Russell, touring throughout the year and recording a duo album as well as another solo album, ‘Red River Dreams’, in 2016.

Now with many miles behind him and countless stages beneath his feet, Hearne has amassed a dedicated and ever-expanding fan base. After many busy years of touring, recording, and promoting his Big Barn Dance Music Festival, Hearne still has no doubt in his mind about his calling. Whatever he might be doing and wherever he might be doing it, Hearne is sure to be found with a guitar in hand, his destiny intertwined as ever in wire and wood.

“Much to my delight, In 2012 Michael showed up to accompany my then scheduled guest, Shake Russell,” said Fletcher. “I had long been an admirer of his musical skills, and we have continued to cross paths over the years. Michael was to have been my guest in 2020, until the pandemic shut us down, and I have been eagerly anticipating this opportunity to feature this outstanding musician and songwriter.”

Beginning in 2010, Evenings with the Songwriter has brought scores of artists “to explore the art and craft of songwriting”: Tish Hinojosa, Caroline Aiken, Vince Bell, Susan Gibson, Butch Hancock, Christine Albert, Lisa Morales, Dana Cooper, The Flyin’ A’s, Grace Pettis, Rex Foster (RIP), Walt Wilkins, and Claudia Nygaard, et al. The 2023 season continues with Hearne, Lorrie Singer, Lynn Dowdy McCracken, Greg Whitfield, Dustin Welch, Matthew Wise, Eric Gerber, Mark Jungers, and HalleyAnna Finlay.

The ambiance of the Lyceum of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library (oldest continually operating library building in Texas) and the exceptionally attentive audience offer artists an experience unlike any other in their careers. Free to the public, the dedicated staff of Library Director Bertha Martinez make this possible on the last Tuesdays of the month (except December). Local support comes from Old Settlers Music Festival and LockhartArea Music Association.


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