The good people of Texas are shining their spurs and oiling their dancing boots in preparation as favorite son Lyle Lovett and his Large Band announce their new album due out October 20th. The currently untitled album, the follow-up to 2007’s It’s Not Big It’s Large, will incorporate a mix of new tracks and covers of some Lovett’s favorite songs by his Texan musical brethren. Ever candid about his craft, Lovett tells Billboard “I had a few new songs I was really eager to record, but I just didn’t have enough new songs I liked to do an entire album of my songs, to be honest”.
On the album, Lovett is reunited with a familiar cast of characters from both the Large Band and previous studio work. One of the covers they have been working on is that of the venerated Townes Van Zandt’s “Loretta”, which looks to be a particularly nice fit for Lovett’s voice and persona, as it revisits the lyrically comfortable subject matter of guitars, booze, and pretty girls. The combination of new songs and covers on the album is not new to Lovett; he used a similar approach on 1998’s Step Inside This House.
Having put out quality country/western albums for over two decades, and with four Grammy Awards collecting dust on his mantle, Lovett has firmly established himself as one of the genre’s true icons. Lovett stands out without an ounce of flashiness, relying instead on his country croon, soulful enough to bring tears to the eyes of the men-folk, and on a honky-tonk spirit strong enough to wrench the cowboy-boogie out of even the most stolid of barroom dancers.
Lovett will begin his summer tour on July 14, giving fans a taste of his new songs and trying to put a little extra coin in his pocket. “For the first time we’re seeing the effects of the economy,” Lovett says, reminding us of the omnipresence of the recession, and hinting that the tour might continue for some time. Considering that Lovett told Entertainment Weekly in 2008 that he “never made a dime” off of his albums, apparently bound by a tough deal with Curb/Universal, he may not be kidding about the need to tour.
Helping out an old friend financially will never be more fun than catching one of Lovett’s heel-stompin’ shows this summer.
Visit his site for dates.