Tonight: Scott Miller and Mike McClure at McGonigel's Mucky Duck

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Scott Miller, "Drunk All Around This Town"

Long ago, Scott Miller had a brief essay on his website about playing writers-in-the-round gigs. In his eyes, such shows come down to you, the one good, talented, brilliant songwriter sitting there silently wishing these other hacks would finish their goddamn long lame-ass story about why they wrote the song and just play the damn thing so it'll be your turn again. Yet the artist has to successfully act like he's hanging on every word the others say, and sing and act like he's just lucky to be onstage with people so talented.

I've liked Miller immensely ever since.

Mike McClure, live at John T. Floores Country Store in Helotes, 2006

Fortunately, Miller will be song-swapping with an equal talent tonight at the Mucky Duck when he takes a seat next to Oklahoma rocker Mike McClure. McClure was leader of The Great Divide, Red Dirt cowboys who were signed to Atlantic Records and touring the country in buses when Pat Green was still riding around trying to sell CDs out of the trunk of his car. He's since gone on to release numerous solo records and produce all kinds of acts including Cross Canadian Ragweed. Whether it's rodeo rock or his folkier stuff, McClure brings it.

Miller is touring on his latest album, For Crying Out Loud. As far as we can ascertain, the album isn't out officially yet, but Miller will be selling them tonight. When he's not thinking how lame writers-in-the-round gigs are. - William Michael Smith

7:30 p.m. tonight at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999

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