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Sweet music, sweet Louvin


Charlie Louvin is talk of the hipsters again  and not - because he can pull off this hat.
  • Charlie Louvin is talk of the hipsters again and not because he can pull off this hat.

Something old adorned with something new is a formula raging in the music industry these days.

Have legend. Add contemporary names. Instant hipster cred follows.

The formula is once again at work with an under-the-radar album that's slowly gaining momentum. It's from Charlie Louvin the lower-voiced half of country's famed Louvin Brothers whose recently released self-titled effort features a Who's Who of artists. George Jones, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, Bright Eyes' Alex McManus, Elvis Costello and more play the siblings' classics and standards.

"It's really not my music, Chief," Louvin says over the phone from Tennessee. "It's Louvin Brothers music, and all of these people recorded on this new project, they cut their teeth on Louvin Brothers music but went a different way when they became professional."

The legend of the Louvin Brothers, punctuated by Ira Louvin's death in a 1965 car crash, began in the '50s. That's when the duo left gospel music for rich harmony and secular-based material. Nearly two dozen charting songs followed.

"The music points out your errors in life and even sometimes points out the fun in life, but the songs are true," says Louvin, now 79. "If you're going to hell, it'll tell you how to escape it. If you're going to heaven, it'll tell you how to get there. So it's the sounds that did it."

He adds: "People ask me quite often, "Did you think 50 or 60 years ago that these songs would still be alive?' I say, "Lord no. Everything we did was to make a living, not to make history.'"

Charlie Louvin and Neko Case

Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder

Wednesday, April 4, 7 p.m.

Tickets: $20; call 303/786-7030 or visit

Charlie Louvin

The Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver

Thursday, April 5, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $20; visit

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