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Allen at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, on February 2, 2024.Terry Allen likes to call himself an artist, full stop. The rest of us tend to complicate things. We like to call him a conceptual artist or a multimedia artist—or a singer-songwriter-playwright-sculptor-painter-pianist. We feel we have to, because he has played so many different roles in his life. Considered both a grandfather of alternative country music and a grand master of modern conceptual art, he’s written hundreds of songs and radio plays. His physical work sits in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and a dozen other museums, as well as Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Bush Intercontinental. Allen, who is eighty, grew up in Lubbock and lives in Santa Fe, and no living artist captures the darkness and light…

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