There’s something truly lovely and inspiring about Ben Kweller. Despite a hip solo debut that placed him on the map of the glitterati, this Texas-bred singer-songwriter continues to perform honest songs that stand firm on their own merits.

Thursday night at the Troubadour was no exception. Kweller’s audience was a captive one. Fans poured into every nook and cranny of the venue and filled the air with enthusiasm and electricity.

Kweller’s set included tunes from his latest release, How Ya Lookin’ Southbound? Come In.... With backing from his band, the 27-year-old gave greats like Neil Young and Tom Petty a serious run for the money. His easy-going, southern charm melded with a unique and bold vocal style, while his earnest lyrics fell easily from the lips of each guy and girl singing along. Kweller’s set was also not without its surprises. “This next song goes out to Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson!” he exclaimed.

As the crowd cheered on, Kweller strummed on his guitar and tapped his foot to the beat. He appeared less a guy trying to make an impression and more a music lover on stage having a little fun.

The whole evening suggested the legacy of greatness. Like Hendrix at Woodstock or KISS at Cobo Hall, Kweller laid the foundations of “Were you there?” for a generation that came to adore him as part of the indie rock band Radish but will continue to grow with him through this and future musical explorations.