If you’ve never listened to Lyle Lovett, you really must! His songs are witty, sometimes funny and sometimes sad. I’m a new-er Lyle fan, having only “discovered” him a few years ago. I quickly fell in love with his music. His songs have interesting names such as Don’t Touch My Hat and One-Eyed Fiona, with creative lyrics to match! Last August I went to see Lyle and His Big Band at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) near the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. It was three hours of non-stop amazing performances by Lyle and his band.
Last night at the DPAC I was sitting in the audience after watching the opening act, Leo Kottke a solo acoustic guitarist, waiting to see Lyle and the band for a second time. Somewhere behind me Lyle’s back-up singer (I use that term loosely because she is a singer in her own right and it feels wrong calling her “back-up”) Francine Reed, a soulful blues singer, was belting it out!! I realized she was walking down the aisle, singing her way to the stage. I was able to get a few great photos of her on my phone, one of which I posted on my Instagram. She’s been singing with Lyle since the ‘80s and has real singing chops. Francine has worked with Jazz/Blues greats such as Miles Davis and Etta James, as well as other famous performers. I love her! When she performs Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues, which is what she was singing as she walked towards the stage, it gives me goosebumps it’s so amazing!
Other band members are also solo musicians as well and have their own solo music careers, yet frequently, some since the late ‘70s, perform with Lyle on tour. The band includes saxophones, a trumpet, a trombone, a cello, a bass, bongo drums, drums, a piano, a steel guitar, guitars, a banjo, a fiddle, and Francine. Absolutely phenomenal!! What I love most about Lyle is that he highlights his band members and has them showcase songs from their albums or gives them a great solo. For instance, Brad Leali, who is a Professor of Saxophone at the University of North Texas, is touring with Lyle and his band this summer. Leali had an outstanding solo performance in the last song of the evening. I knew many of the songs Lyle and his band played, and there were some songs that were new to me as well. All in all, it was a fantastic concert. I am so lucky that I was able to see them play again!
Probably the second best thing of the night was that Lyle Lovett himself liked the two photos I posted on my Instagram. Earlier, just before the show, as I was walking past the tour buses I joked that I should knock on the door, tell Lyle we’re practically kin because my last name is Love, his is Lovett and he is from Klein, TX and my grandmother was a Klein, and then ask him for a photo. I was being silly of course, but a photo would have been pretty cool. Lyle liking my photos was the next best thing! How I wish I had my real camera!
If you get a chance you should really look into his albums. There are some meaningful, as well as catchy songs to listen to, I highly recommend them! Once you listen to him you’ll be hooked and then you’ll have to see him live. That, my friends, is where it’s at! He is witty and charming and his show will dazzle you!!! You can find out more information on his Facebook page and website or Twitter by clicking the links.