"}
Music

Lyle Lovett

The ranting of rabid fangirl

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Given my known proclivity for certain types of bands (rock ’n’ roll, loud), one could probably make an assumption or two about what band or musician I’ve seen in concert most often.

You probably would not guess that musician is country singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett. I know. It kind of surprises me too.

The first time I encountered Lovett, it was completely by accident. I was in high school and he was touring with his Large Band. One of his tour stops was in Seattle for a Summer Nights on the Pier concert, and I just happened to be wandering the waterfront with some friends. We stopped to watch Lovett in action (back when bellying up to the fenceline at Piers 62 and 63 still netted a person a pretty good vantage point), and I was transfixed by the way such a seemingly unassuming man could command both audience and the appropriately named Large Band with such seeming ease. I was enthralled by his songs, his stories and, most of all, his easy manner.

It’s safe to say I’ve been mesmerized ever since.

Through the years, I’ve seen Lovett in many of his different incarnations. With the aforementioned Large Band, with smaller versions of that band, with entirely different bands, sharing the stage with his songwriting contemporaries—the list goes on. Once, I saw Lovett play a smallish show with just his longtime cellist (and onstage comedic foil) John Hagen and it remains near the top of the list of the best live performances I’ve ever seen.

If you’ve never experienced the spell Lovett is capable of casting, you might be tempted to dismiss what I’m saying as the ranting of a rabid fangirl. After all, the lanky guy with the guitar and the crooked grin doesn’t fit the traditional mold of your average dreamy musician dude.

But Lovett’s definitely got some things going for him.

First, of course, is his music. Over the course of more than a dozen albums (which have netted him four Grammys—not that anyone is counting), Lovett has proven himself to be a singular songwriter, a man who pays homage to those who have inspired him while writing songs that are wholly his own. A song by Lovett doesn’t sound like a song written by anyone else, even though his bread and butter, musically speaking, is to populate his songs with people we can relate to and situations we know. As well, he has a knack for using small moments to convey big feelings, having figured out that in music, as in life, it’s the daily details and not the intense dramas that make up the weight of our experience.

But Lovett is in more than just his musical element onstage. With his deadpan demeanor and penchant for self-deprecating humor, he can be easy to underestimate. But make no mistake: Lovett is a charismatic fellow. He can spin a story, tell a joke and has an enviable ability to make everyone in the audience feel like even if they hadn’t paid a decent sum of money for the privilege, he’d probably still hang out with them. The fact that he plays a Townes Van Zandt song at nearly every show is just gravy.

When he makes a return visit to the Mount Baker Theatre on Sun., Nov. 24, he won’t be alone. Sharing the stage with him will be friend and fellow songwriter John Hiatt, and it will be far from the first time the two have performed together.

There’s a select cadre of songwriters who can hold their own with the likes of Lovett and Hiatt is most definitely one of them. While Lovett was busy winning Grammys, the musically versatile and creatively curious Hiatt was writing songs that have been covered by a whole host of people—most of whom know a thing or two about how to write a pretty decent song themselves. I’m talking about such musicians as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Iggy Pop, Emmylou Harris, Nick Lowe—the list is as impressive as it is exhaustive.

Together, Hiatt and Lovett provide an entertainment experience that is not easily matched. Both boast deep and varied discographies, both are nimble performers who are used to playing—and playing off of—each other. As well, Lovett won’t be the only one on the Baker’s stage with a wicked sense of humor, so expect the between-song banter to be as entertaining as the music itself.

Given the frequency with which Lovett visits Bellingham—and the tendency of his shows to sell out—I’m clearly not the only one taken with his charms. I’m guessing a few of you probably have some Lyle Lovett notches in your concert belt. That’s all right by me, there’s more than enough of him to go around.

Zoots Banner
More Music...
Lynden Music Festival
Everybody cut footloose

Shortly after I moved to Bellingham all those millions of years ago, I learned it was widely believed that the movie Footloose was based, in part, on Lynden. If the finer plot point of the ’80s classic aren’t as alive for you as they are for me, allow me to refresh your memory.

In the…

more »
Ladies of the Lincoln
Who run the world?

A couple of weeks ago, the Lincoln Theatre kicked off its fall season with a concert by Maria Muldaur, an event that, among other things, prompted me to sing “Midnight at the Oasis” to my coworkers until they threatened me with a violent end should I continue to torture them with my…

more »
Bellingham Irish Festival
Creativity meets ingenuity

It’s certainly no secret that I have an affinity for musicians. Common sense would dictate that this stems from my love of music. Common sense would be correct on this point, but that’s not the whole story.

I also crave proximity to creativity, particularly any kind that exists…

more »
Events
Today
A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

The Miracle Worker

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Little Women

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

The Music Man

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Whatcom Falls Park

Parkinson's Dance Class

10:00am|Ballet Bellingham

Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival

10:00am|La Conner

Spanish Storytime

10:30am|Lynden Library

Ferndale Farmers Market

1:00pm|Cherry Street

Get an edible education

4:00pm

Autumn Celebration Dinner

5:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Love, Loss and What I Wore

7:30pm|Heiner Auditorium

Hellingham

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Handling the truth

9:35pm

Mount Baker Theatre Andrew Subin
Tomorrow
Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

The Music Man

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Little Women

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

The Miracle Worker

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival

10:00am|La Conner

Get an edible education

4:00pm

Love, Loss and What I Wore

7:30pm|Heiner Auditorium

Hellingham

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Handling the truth

9:35pm

Run Like a Girl

8:00am|Fairhaven Park

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Benefit Garage Sale

9:00am|T.G. Richards Building

Cabbage Class

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverfront Plaza

Model Train Show

9:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Twin Sisters Farmers Market

9:00am|Nugent's Corner

Healthcare Film

9:30am|Bellingham Public Library

Fermentation Fun

10:00am|Blaine Library

Fall Family Fun

10:00am|Glen Echo Garden

Birding Walk

10:00am|South Whatcom Library

Fall Fruit Festival

10:00am|Cloud Mountain Farm Center

Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms

10:00am|Skagit County

Film is Truth Anniversary Party

10:00am|Bellingham Public Market

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|Peace Portal Drive

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Whatcom Artist Studio Tour

10:00am|Whatcom County

Porpathon

10:00am|Salish Sea

Buddy Walk

11:00am|Fairhaven Village Green

National Geographic's 50 Greatest Photos Opening

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Banned Books Week Read-In

12:30pm|Village Books

Intro to NaNoWriMo

1:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Artist Lecture

1:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Matched Makers Opening

2:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Timber Rose

2:00pm|North Fork Library

Traditional Jazz

2:00pm|VFW Hall

Blessing of the Animals

3:30pm|Cornwall Park

Poetry Palavers

4:00pm|Village Books

Matzke Art Auction

5:00pm|Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park

Edison Opening

5:00pm|Smith & Vallee Gallery

Celebrating Jack Prelutsky

5:30pm|Western Library

USA Dance

7:00pm|Presence Studio

Fred Morrison

7:00pm|Littlefield Celtic Center

The Aimees

7:00pm|BAAY Theatre

George Winston

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Tannahill Weavers

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Folk Dance Party

7:30pm|Fairhaven Library

Bellingham Chamber Music Society

7:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Artifacts Wine Bar Everybody’s Store
Sunday
The Music Man

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Little Women

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

The Miracle Worker

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival

10:00am|La Conner

Love, Loss and What I Wore

7:30pm|Heiner Auditorium

Handling the truth

9:35pm

Benefit Garage Sale

9:00am|T.G. Richards Building

Model Train Show

9:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms

10:00am|Skagit County

Whatcom Artist Studio Tour

10:00am|Whatcom County

Fall Fruit Festival

10:00am|Cloud Mountain Farm Center

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Community Breakfast

8:00am|Rome Grange

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Fueling Education Fun Run

9:30am|Washington Park

Sunday Market

1:00pm|Alger Community Hall

Walk the Wall

1:30pm|Lake Padden

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

2:00pm|Lake Padden Park

Sunday Night Fusion

7:00pm|Presence Studio

Bruce Molsky

7:00pm|YWCA Ballroom

White Christmas Auditions

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

see our complete calendar »

MBT Wynton Marsalis Andrew Subin Artifacts Wine Bar Swinomish 2016 Northwood Steak and Crab Everybody’s Store Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Village Books Bellingham Farmer’s Market Zoots Side Bar CW BOB 2016