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Lyle Lovett

Grammy-winning Texas singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett on his latest album and the Lyle Lovett way.

Singer Lyle Lovett's new album is "Release Me."  (AP)

Singer Lyle Lovett's new album is "Release Me." (AP)

Nobody sings quite like Lyle Lovett.

You hear him.  You think Texas.  You think country.  And then you hear a whole lot more.  Big band.  Folk.  Swing.  Blues.  Jazz.  Pop.  Gospel.

His songs are literate and subtle.  Layered and sneaky.  Infectious.

He’s one of a kind.  Lanky and craggy, with that crazy head of hair.  And still rooted on the family spread in Texas.

This hour, On Point:  we’re talking life and song and horses and home with Lyle Lovett.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Lyle Lovett, a singer-songwriter and actor, his new album is Release Me.

From Tom’s Reading List

Country Weekly “If Lyle’s disinclination toward mainstream country-star status wasn’t evident from his urbane, tailored suits and tousled, upside-down-cake hairdo, his 25-year recorded output clearly shows that the Texas-bred stylist can’t be lassoed into a single category. ”

Aspen Times “Break-ups have made for great albums; Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks” is at the top of the pile. “Release Me” is Lyle Lovett’s break-up album, but of a different sort — he’s parting ways with Curb Records, the only label he’s ever known. So what does the ever-sly Lovett have to say about the relationship and its conclusion? The cover photo might say more than any song; it’s an image of Lovett bound tightly in ropes — a suggestion that Curb has restrained Lovett too much to carry the union forward? ”

The New Yorker “Klein, Texas, is halfway between Tomball and Spring, on the coastal plain north of Houston. The land is flat. The roads run straight along the old property lines and meet at right angles, like joints in furniture. Where there are fields with cattle or horses, the trees in the distance appear as remote and aloof as a coastline.”

Video: White Freightliner Blues

Here’s Lyle Lovett preforming White Freightliner Blues on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Playlist

Keep It Clean
Release Me
The Girl with the Holiday Smile
Isn’t That So
Garfield’s Blackberry Blossom
Baby It’s Cold
Night’s Lullaby
Brown-eyed Handsome Man
One Way Gal
Understand You
White Boy Lost in the Blues
If I Had a Boat (Live in-studio performance)
Keep Us Steadfast

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  • Roy Mac

    Oh, man!  Just give us one more chorus of L.A. County, or The Waltzing Fool, or If I Had A Boat!!  Lyle’s Da Man!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=521836204 Wendy Bailey

    If I had a boat…I’d sail straight into your arms, Mr. Lyle Lovett!

  • Veritemail

    Summer 2011…Pittsburgh, PA…outdoor concert under the stars…”This Old Porch”…heaven on earth…

  • Brett

    I do Townes Van Zandt’s ‘White Freightliner Blues.’ I’ve heard Lovett cover a few of Townes Van Zandt’s tunes; in fact, my favorite versions of Van Zandt’s tunes, aside from his own inimitable renditions, have been by Lovett. He does a great version of ‘Lungs.’ Of course, he’s had his share of good songs…there’s something in the water in Texas that produces good song writers…

    • Anonymous

      Not that much water here in TX these days, Brett!  But two of the most important TX qualities are a) an indomitable sense of humor, and b) courtliness and openness towards others… two qualities that seem to be under fire elsewhere.

  • Tncanoeguy

    Have seen Lyle at the State Theater in Kalamazoo MI and here at the Ryman – always a good show.  

  • Mockymur

    I loved Mr. Lovett’s collaborations with Francine Reed. This longtime fan says, “Howdy, Lyle!” Can’t wait to see what you get up to next. 

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Lyle Lovett is the kind of musician that transcends genre by playing what sounds good to him.  Give me individuals any day over the products of a formula.

  • Annie O’Reilly

    I have loved Lyle Lovett for years and thank him for opening the way for me to so any other fine Texas musicians — Steve Earle, Joe Ely, Townes Van Zandt, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, etc — but Lovett’s voice and blending of and turning genres into his own is something truly special.  But oh my — his turn as the baker in Robert Altman’s Short Cuts — killed me.  One of the oddest characters by one of my favorite authors — Raymond Carver — and he was perfect.  Mr. Lovett, thank you for everything, best of luck in the future, and please see about coming down to Florida sometime.

  • Trish Lyell

    I am a big fan and am lucky to have seen (and hope to do so again) you at The Egg, the great venue in Albany, NY.
    Curious about the shows you do with John Hyatt…a great way to hear you both. How did that begin?
    thanks,
    Trish (Lyell) (Guess you spell yours “wrong”!)

  • Drpmeade

    I love the album but also love the title to your 2007 album
    “Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, it’s not Big, it’s Large”.

  • SK

    Tom, please ask Lyle Lovett about Robert Altman and what it was like to be in his movies. It seems that LL was one of Altman’s (later) favorite character players.

  • Bassmule

    So what’s Lee Sklar REALLY like?

  • Michelle

    Tom!
    LOVE, love love Lyle! I first found Lyle back in the early 90′s in college. He kept me company in my tiny 3rd floor one room studio in Burlington Vermont during my first winter. His lyrics made my world not seem so small in that studio. Love the humor in some of the songs, such as Hot to Go when the back up singer says, “well you ugly too!” Lyle come back to Vt!

    • Roy Mac

      Pretty sure that “back up singer” is the one & only Francine Reed!

  • Tncanoeguy

     I think I know what the song Penguins is about, but why Penguins? 

  • Eek120

    Don’t know if the joke is common, but I thought I might tickle mr Lovett to know that our friends-big fans,as we are-have a truck–they always say they names it Lyle because they love it! Thanks, Erin

  • AC

    i’ve never heard him before, but i like it!

  • Rexleatherwood

    I met Lyle when I was a young lawyer in Nashville working for a firm that worked with his management company.  All our secretaries were in love with him.  He was one of the most personally charming people I have ever met.  I think that charm radiates through all his music.  I introduced my wife to his music with his album “the road to ensenada.”  She fell in love with him.  

  • TTallon-Blanchard

    Lyle I recall seeing you at the Roxy in Los Angeles, many, man-years ago!  There was an amazing stand up Bass Player who was blind, what was his name? Small venue, wonderful memory.  Still have Pontiac on cassette and listen in my old car!
    :) Trish

  • Modavations

    God Bless Texas

  • http://whilewestillhavetime.blogspot.com/ John Hamilton

    Lyle Lovett has one of those distinctive voices that stand out from all others, like Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. A couple of decades ago he contributed his version of “Friend of the Devil” to the Deadicated album. I never liked the song much by the Grateful Dead, but he gave it a truer and deeper meaning than Jerry Garcia did, kind of harrowing. (Check it out: youtube.com/watch?v=iND4B26x6YI)

    I lived in Houston once. I lasted four months. The fact that he can still live there is a testament to his sense of place, of home. I suspect that living there makes visiting other places special.  

  • Anonymous

    I will be looking for his music. no idea was so interesting. Only knew him by his hair.

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