...but I love Lyle Lovett and his Large Band. They played the Cape Cod Melody Tent last night. They come round every summer, and I've been meaning to go for years. This year the girls are old enough to be babysat, and Mr. SandyShoes and I finally got to go. (As a "holy cow" aside, concert tickets have sure gotten expensive in the, um, 10? years since I've seen live music... sigh).
I like the Melody Tent. It's a round(ish) venue with a rotating stage so there really aren't any bad seats. It's low-key and smallish by concert standards, a great place to see a show if (like me) enormous crowds make you cranky and vaguely anxious.
The band was great, with eighteen musicians on stage at its largest (percussion, drums, electric, acoustic and steel guitars, four horns, piano, mandolin, fiddle, cello, bass, and four backup singers, including the fabulous Francine Reed, who does that great duet with Lyle on "The Glory of Love." The sound was rich, and the mood was lovely. It's clearly a group of super-talented people who admire and respect each other, love playing together, and have been doing it for a comfortable long time.
It's hard to describe Lyle Lovett's music to someone who's not heard it. Parts gospel, big (er, large) band, bluegrass (he says he's exploring this recently), country, folk. Pop, if he goes there, is a coincidence. Sometimes you need music to make you ache, or to wake you up to an ache you're already feeling or revisiting. Nobody does melancholy like Lyle Lovett (Promises given/and promises broken/words stain my lips/just like blood on my hands; and words are like poison/that sinks down inside you/and some things you do/you just don't understand). But the big tunes that it's hard not to dance to are the best, most energizing and most fun, live. Last night brought some of each, and a number of tunes I hadn't heard before. Came home and realized the most recent CD of Lyle's in my collection is The Road to Ensenada... from 1996. Been a busy decade I guess.
Anyway, it was a terrific night. Good things can come from the Lone Star State after all ;).