Lyle and his music gotta Lovett
Lyle Lovett and his Large Band performed for a large and appreciative audience Thursday night at Snow Park Lodge. The heat wave earlier this week gave way to ideal temperatures, providing an evening to match the Deer Valley scenery.
The Large Band, 18 members including Lovett, covered nearly every possible musical genre jazz, blues, rock, big-band swing, folk, Texas swing, Celtic, bluegrass and country. The crowd was just as diverse ranging from diapers to walkers.
Starting with a soft ballad, "Don’t Cry a Tear," with only guitar and cello accompaniment, singer-songwriter Lovett settled the audience in for what was to come. The sound gradually built as the other talented musicians took their places, including a four-piece horn section, giving way to a jazz instrumental, reminiscent of the big bands of the ’40s.
A quartet of backup vocalists appeared, featuring long-time member Francine Reed, and the crowd was treated to a standout gospel tune, "I Will Rise Up."
During the solid two-and-a-half hour concert, Lovett performed some obscure tunes as well as his well known hits: "Penguins" from the "I Love Everybody Album"; "San Antonio Girl" from the "Baby Don’t Tolerate" album; and, of course, "If I Had a Boat" from "Pontiac."
Lovett charmed the crowd with his soft-spoken, deadpan delivery, saying how he appreciated playing in daylight, giving him and his cohorts a chance to "watch and learn," and expressing his delight with being able to once again play the Deer Valley venue.
He introduced Jeff White, a mandolin player with The Chieftains, and they played "Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down" from The Chieftains’ album "Down the Old Plank Road" the Celtic sound achieved with emerald green stage lights and the drums of the legendary Russ Kunkel. This led to an excellent traditional bluegrass tune, "More Pretty Girls Than One."
Music from the "Pontiac" album dominated the latter part of the show with "Give Back My Heart," "Walk Through the Bottomlands" and "She’s No Lady."
Spliced in between were featured instrumental solos, including a memorable cello solo by John Hagen.
Following an upbeat tune "Going for a Ride Down Wallisville Road" and a low-key comical ballad, Lovett thanked the crowd and the band made a brief exit, only to return with a bawdy, gutsy rendition of "Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues" by Francine Reed and, as the final encore, Lovett performed the rousing tune, "She’s Hot to Go."
It doesn’t get any better than that.
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