"}
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.

SVCR Don McLean
More Music...
The Wild Buffalo
Music under the big top

I respect any number of things about the Wild Buffalo’s ownership cohort of Craig Jewell, Joey Crahan, and Lee Huffman, but nothing more than their steadfast, unshakable belief that owning a music venue is supposed to be fun. Sure, they deal with all the standard-issue problems of…

more »
Valentine’s Day Cover Show
Make America love again

People have strong feelings when it comes to Valentine’s Day.

Some people thoroughly enjoy the annual celebration of love. They go all out, make elaborate plans to show affection for their significant others, hand out valentines and conversation hearts, invest in roses and chocolate,…

more »
Murder City Devils
You can’t keep a good devil down

By now, just about everyone the world over knows a thing or two about the ’90s grunge scene in Seattle, and about how a bunch of flannel-clad bands who loved distortion and had a lot of angst to burn somehow caused an unintentional musical revolution, the reverberations of which are still…

more »
Events
Today
Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Bayshore Symphony Winter Concert

7:30pm|Central Lutheran Church

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Fairhaven Food Fest

11:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Refugee Talk

2:00pm|Christ the Servant Lutheran Church

Northwest Cancer Summit

2:00pm|Bellingham Golf and Country Club

Sting and Piano Chamber Concert

3:00pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

The Tao of Raven

4:00pm|Village Books

Making time with Oscar

4:30pm

The Irish Rovers

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

MBT LOL Village Books
Tomorrow
Fairhaven Food Fest

11:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Ancestry & Genealogy

1:00pm|Ferndale Library

Make Monday Matter

4:00pm|Everson Library

Library Tour

6:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Cuban Salsa

6:00pm|Bell Tower Studios

Yoga for Outdoor Fitness

6:00pm|REI

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books

Swing Dance

8:00pm|Eagles Hall

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

Trove Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Tuesday
Fairhaven Food Fest

11:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Chuckanut Radio Hour

6:30pm|Leopold Crystal Ballroom

Winter Bistro

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Winter Classics

6:30pm|Gretchen's Kitchen

Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Loons of the Salish Sea

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

MVHS Jazz

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Geology Underfoot

7:00pm|Ferndale Library

Books on Tap

7:00pm|Maggie's Pub

Gather Round

7:00pm|Honey Moon Mead & Cider

see our complete calendar »

MBT LOL Bellingham Farmer’s Market Village Books Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Bellingham Technical College Northwood Steak and Crab