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In the 30-some years since he moved to Nashville, Houston native Rodney Crowell has proven to be a bona fide quadruple threat. His membership in Emmylou Harris' Hot Band demonstrated that he knew his way around a guitar, and as the producer of the albums Seven Year Ache and King's Record Shop, he helped then-wife Rosanne Cash break through in the '80s. You want songwriting cred? His tunes have been recorded by artists ranging from Jerry Reed and the Oak Ridge Boys to the Grateful Dead and Andy Williams. And his abilities as a solo performer led to five songs from 1988's Diamonds and Dirt hitting No. 1 on country radio. But despite all those accomplishments, you could say that Crowell's best work has come via his last two albums, the unflinchingly autobiographical The Houston Kid and 2003's unapologetically questioning Fate's Right Hand, the latter described in Blender as a "front-porch state of the union." The Houston Kid plays the ArtsCenter Friday, March 25. Tickets run $32 (call 929-2787), and the show gets going at 8 p.m.

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