Lyle Lovett, the quirky Texan with the arid wit and virulent cult following, dubbed his last album It's Not Big It's Large. Presumably referring to his extraordinarily versatile and finely honed band, the title also suggests the vast sweep of Lovett's sound, which only begins in the corral with country and slivers of Western swing. Despite any insistence to the contrary, his Large outfit has all the attributes of a classic big band, tackling jazz and jump blues with aplomb, as well as moseying into such stuff as cowboy chamber folk and gospel, the latter especially thriving thanks to the phenomenal vocals of Francine Reed, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Harry Bowens, and Willie Greene. Lovett's dusty voice, meanwhile, oozes sly irony, as do many of his lyrics. There haven't been a lot of new ones lately, however. Big/Large, released in 2007, was only Lovett's second release of new songs in a decade, although he's reportedly been working on a new album that's due in the fall—so there may be a sneak preview of material that's maybe not new it's fresh.
Thu., July 23, 8 p.m., 2009
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