Large Band, Big Deal
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band show the depth of country music in 3-night Austin residency
Fortunately for Texans, this state is obsessed with its history. And thanks to programs like Austin City Limits, there are constantly influential Texans onstage for Austinites' education and enjoyment. Still, it's rare to see a Texas legend three nights in a row.
Lyle Lovett, a country troubadour famous for his nuanced take on country music that included lots of folk, blues, and even jazz sensibilities, is playing ACL Live with his Large Band on August 21-23. This intimate venue is a great place to see the beloved singer-songwriter and screen actor close-up, where his witty lyrics and stage charisma can be appreciated in full.
The Houston-born musician is a Texan though-and-through, with two degrees from Texas A&M (in German and journalism), and a strong relationship with Austin's patron saint of country music and really, everything, Willie Nelson. By 1997, Lovett had won four Grammy awards and been nominated for 13 more.
In 2009, Lovett joined Nelson and other greats — Ray Benson, George Strait, and Kelly Clarkson, among others — in the very prestigious designation of Texas State Artist Musician. Only one per year is awarded by the Texas Commission on the Arts.
The singer specifically drew attention to his other players in the 1989 album Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, which garnered strong support from critics for its simultaneous seriousness and levity. The New Yorker praised the album for reviving "whole swaths of neglected popular American music."
This isn't the first time Lyle Lovett has played Austin City Limits, and some tapings really highlight just how large the band really is; They're barely able to fit on the iconic stage. This time around, the band is joined by Sierra Hull the first two nights, and Hayes Carll the third, as openers.
Some tickets are still available at acllive.com.