We’re Not From Texas, Lyle, But We Want You Anyway!
Last weekend marked Lyle Lovett‘s third appearance at the Lowell Summer Music Series – twice with his Large Band and once with his smaller Acoustic Group. The Large Band graced the stage at Boarding House Park for this show.
I will take Lyle any way I can – he has incredible stage presence and (at least at his Lowell shows) obviously loves what he is doing. Overall, though, I prefer the Large Band because of the depth and range of the instrumentality.
Before the show, a group of us were discussing the kind of music we would hear that night, and I realized that Lyle’s genre – to this writer, at least – is country meets big band. Many people think of him as a country musician, which is only partly accurate. He transcends genres and is a joy to behold.
Lyle is an excellent songwriter, as is evident in ‘That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas)’, ‘She’s No Lady’, ‘Cute as a Bug’, and ‘North Dakota’, all of which were included in the evening’s two-and-a-half hour set.
A very special guest is touring with Lyle this year – Francine Reed! She has toured on and off with Lyle since the 1980s, and I was glad to finally see her perform with him. Mostly singing back up but delivering fabulous harmonies with Lyle and the others who sang back up, she provided lead vocals on ‘Wild Women Don’t Get The Blues’ and received a standing ovation for it.
Lyle has surrounded himself with amazing musicians: Luke Bulla on fiddle, Keith Sewell on guitar and mandolin, Russ Kunkel on drums, Viktor Krauss (who I did not realize is Alison’s brother) on bass, John Hagen on cello, and the Muscle Shoals Horns (Harrison Calloway on trumpet, Harvey Thompson on saxophone, Charles Rose on trombone, and Ronnie Eades on saxophone). I am unsure of the names of the keyboardist, pedal steel player and guitarist – sorry!
There was a young – eight years old – fan in the front row who caught Lyle’s attention. I knew from talking with her father earlier in the afternoon that it was her third Lyle show! A musician will endear him/herself to me when they engage a child in the audience, and Lyle is no exception. She will always remember this show.
It was a gorgeous night under the stars. Lyle referenced his last show in Lowell when the audience looked like drowned rats and told us we looked as good then as we did this night!
This band delivers some of the best performances I have seen. Their love for the music mixed with their love of performing that music is what makes fans such as me return to see them.
Note that ‘professional’ cameras were not allowed at this show so my photos are not up to my usual standard.
Posted on August 22, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged big band music, Boarding House Park, boston, concert review, Country music, Francine Reed, John Hagen, Keith Sewell, Lowell Summer Music Series, Luke Bulla, Lyle Lovett, Muscle Shoals Horns, music, Russ Kunkel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.