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F R I D A Y

Robert Earl Keen will probably always be linked with fellow Texan Lyle Lovett, though the pair’s songwriting partnership dissolved way before the Pretty Man persona took hold. Keen never abandoned the sort of simple, slice-of-lifetunesmithery that made their most notable collaboration, “This Old Porch,” so winning. Keen should take some satisfaction, though, in the fact that his longtime friend, after an extended embrace of grandiosity, has recently re-embraced the less-is-more philosophy. Keen performs in support of Gringo Honeymoon, his fourth release for folksy Durham, N.C., label Sugar Hill at 8:30 p.m. at the Birchmere, 3901 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $16. (703) 549-5919. (Dave McKenna)