Lyle Lovett celebrates home on new album, in concert

Lovett’s live show set list incorporates new material from his latest album “12th of June,” his first album in a decade. His life has changed drastically in that time; he’s gotten married, had twins, and signed with a new label, Verve Records.

SHARE Lyle Lovett celebrates home on new album, in concert
Lyle Lovett (shown in a performance at the Americana Honors & Awards show in September) headlines the Cahn Auditorium on Oct. 14. 

Lyle Lovett (shown in a performance at the Americana Honors & Awards show in September) headlines the Cahn Auditorium on Oct. 14.

AP

Lyle Lovett cherishes every opportunity he gets to play in Chicago. Between playing venues such as the Chicago Theatre and Schubas, and getting early support from radio stations such as WXRT, the city’s had an immense impact on his four-decade career.

Summertime is an especially fine time to play there, he says. However, Lovett’s performance this summer at Ravinia Festival was canceled in the wake of the tragic Highland Park parade shooting. Now he’s looking forward to returning to the area , this time co-headlining a sold-out acoustic show Oct.15 with John Hiatt at Northwestern’s Cahn Auditorium.

lyle lovett

An Acoustic Evening with Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 15

Where: Cahn Auditorium, Northwestern University, 600 Emerson St., Evanston

Tickets: Sold out

Info: eventbrite.com


Lovett’s been a trailblazer both on and off the stage. For example, he was among the first to enforce non-smoking shows. “It’s just easier to sing when you’re not breathing in smoke,” he says. “I don’t smoke.”

In addition to his hits, Lovett’s set list incorporates new material from his latest album “12th of June,” his first album in a decade. His life has changed drastically in that time; he’s gotten married, had twins, and signed with a new label, Verve Records. 

Co-produced by Chuck Ainlay, Lovett and his band recorded the album at Sound Stage Studio in Nashville, the same studio he recorded 1987’s “Pontiac” and 1989’s “Lyle Lovett and His Large Band.” 

Lovett is never content to stay in one genre too long. Instead, he traverses a wide palate of sounds, effortlessly weaving between genres such as jazz, country, western swing, folk, gospel and blues. He also wanted to reintroduce The Large Band. In addition to originals, the album also features standards by Nat King Cole and Dave Frishberg, and a Horace Silver instrumental. 

“My intention was to represent the different types of music that I’ve played across my career,” Lovett says. “I’ve been playing [those standards] live the last few tours and doing them as duets with Francine Reed, who I’ve worked with since 1984, so I wanted to record those for the folks that had heard them live.”

His growing family helped shaped the lyrics of the album’s originals. He’s grateful for the experience of being a dad and the songs that his children have inspired, including the album’s title track. The “difficult” task of dressing them produced the humor-laden “Pants Is Overrated.”

“I made up ‘Pants is Overrated’ when they were little babies and we were just trying to get them dressed and realizing they didn’t always want to get dressed,” he says. “Well, maybe they’re the ones that have it right.”

One thing he’s confident about is how important home is.

“I’ve always been pretty specific about writing about my home, and my hope is that it can represent, can make somebody think of his or her own home,” he says. “Even though a listener might not be where I’m from, the idea of home is something pretty constant for all of us.”

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