Earle and his current, perhaps best ever, bunch of Dukes take on these songs, from new album GUY, with a spirit of reverent glee and invention. The tunes are all over the place and so is the band, offering max energy on such disparate entries as the bluegrass rave-up "Sis Draper" and talking blues memoir of "Texas 1947." Earle's raw vocal on the sweet, sad "That Old Time Feeling" is heartbreaking, sounding close enough to the grave as to be doing a duet with his deceased friend, Guy Clark.
Earle didn't think making GUY paid off some debt, as if it really could. Like the Townes record, GUY is a saga of friendship, its ups and downs, what endures. It is lucky for us that Earle remembers and honors these things, because like old friends, GUY is a diamond.
The Golden State Theatre is located just a few blocks from the Wharf. Tickets and more information are available at www.goldenstatetheatre.com.