Lovin’ Lyle

Once upon a time, when I was younger and could fold myself into a cramped seat in the back row of the balcony at a local theater, I spent $25.00 to go hear a country singer and his ‘large’ band. It was a benefit for the theater itself, which needed some major upgrades to handle the plays and classic movies it presented to us, so I really didn’t mind. I’d been going to that theater since we moved here and didn’t want to see it become another vacant building, place on the National Historic Register notwithstanding. I think I got the last available ticket for the concert, thankfully an aisle seat even if it was in the last row. I had a great view of the stage however, and some friendly concert goers next to me. Truth be told, I’d gone partially because my daughter had said “Mom, you’d like him,” and she does have good taste in music. Still, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. Just who was Lyle Lovett and what exactly was a ‘large band’? When the curtains parted, I found out. And I was hooked.
Lyle Lovett is a storyteller, pure and simple. It doesn’t matter what type of song it is, he infuses it with his personality and makes it his own. Big band numbers like “Tickle Toe” and simple acoustic pieces like “Don’t Shed a Tear” carry the same commitment…reach the listener and share the story. The performances span everything from love gone wrong to love gone right, from a song about Indiana’s tall corn to riding in the back seat of a car with Mom and Dad in the good old days. He can cause a tear or tease a smile. His voice may not be as polished as some, but then it’s really the story he tells that matters, both to him and to us. Or at least that’s how I see it every time I pop one of his cds into my car’s player or hunt up a song of his on iTunes.
Did I mention he could act? He’s done a movie or two, and even been on ABC’s Castle as a government agent, but for me he’ll always be that rail-thin guy in the suit and tie, guitar in hand and band at his back. Thanks, Lyle. You sing a great story.


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