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No paparazzi! (All photos by Jeff Prince)

A top-tier songwriter such as James Michael Taylor can carry a show easily with just his voice, acoustic guitar, and presence. He’s done it since the 1970s in Fort Worth.

Tonight, he offered a rare chance to hear him perform eight of his originals backed by a full band — Sam the Lion — at Shipping & Receiving Bar.

The one-off conglomeration had been in the works for a year.

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Translation: A year ago, Ed Rogers and the other guys in Sam the Lion (Chris Allen Curtis, Matthew Williams, Rodger Harrison) suggested they work up a set of Taylor’s most vivid and poetry-like songs (“Help,” “Coal Fever,” “Something Just Broke,” “Lancaster Street”) and crank ’em up with rock sensibility. About 50 weeks later, someone said, ‘Hey, shouldn’t we rehearse? Don’t we have a gig coming up?” They put the show together quickly, but the 45-minute set packed a wallop of dynamic good fun.

Earlier in the evening, a songwriter of a newer generation played an eclectic mix of originals and covers at Tributary Cafe on Race Street.

Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith (Sur Duda, War Party) writes distinctive, unpredictable originals and breathes that same style into Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, and other covers.

Good night for music in Cowtown.

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