At Stella's Fish Cafe this fall, an older gentleman struck up a conversation with me, and it turned toward country music. "You know, Kris Kristofferson spent a month living with me back in the '70s," he said. I asked if it was a fun month. "Yeah, I think so. I don't remember much of it." He threw me a wink to let me know the loss of memory had nothing to do with age and everything to do with Kristofferson's penchant for narcotics. Battling Willie Nelson for the most soft-spoken country outlaw, Kristofferson nonetheless raised a lot of Cain in his younger days. His music, though, is tender and wistful, good for road trips and late nights drinking alone. It is the tragedy of his career that he will be better remembered as grumpy badass Whistler from the Blade film series than as the author and best performer of "Me and Bobby McGee." True outlaw country fans, though, would never mistake him for a footnote to the movement; we can expect the Pantages crowd to be equal parts hick and hipster.
Tue., April 14, 7:30 p.m., 2009