Friday BBQ Spotify 6/28/13
Last week’s dip into Texas music royalty was so much fun, we’re gonna do it again. My tastes in country western music aren’t typical. I tend to avoid most of the run-of-the-mill CMA Award-winners and search out the fringe crooners that capture the essence of country music without having to replay the same old spousal woes and God-and-country themes ad infinitum. And for me, ground zero for me in atypical country western music has always been Lyle Lovett and His Large Band. I have to admit that I was one of those guys early-on who said “How the hell did he land Julia Roberts?” After my wife chastised me as only a true believer could (with her eyes and a well-timed downward-dipped shake of the head), she simply said “Listen to his lyrics. That man GETS women.” And you know what, she’s right. I get it now. I get it from listening to the words. I get it from watching him, the boys, and Francine perform live. Charm just oozes from the dude. But it’s virtually impossible to be jealous of that power. Lyle seems like the guy you’d want as your next door neighbor. Hold the door open for your mother. The guy who would grab a cooler and say “let’s go fishin.” But then blow the socks off everyone at the party when he picks up a guitar. Usually after I replay my favorites off of My Baby Don’t Tolerate or The Road to Ensenada, I usually walk away thinking I need to up my game. I couldn’t keep this list to only ten songs. And these are my pure favorites, but there’s so many more.
I’ve been fortunate enough to see Lyle and his Large Band play live a few times, and every time I leave thinking “Now, I got my money’s worth that time.” A few years ago, I managed to click the right button online just at the right moment and got front-row center seats to his annual concert at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga. And then was so excited that I forgot to wear my Goode Company Texas Bar-B-Q shirt (his regular haunt in Houston). Lyle’s My Baby Don’t Tolerate album is the one I always choose when I need to escape from whatever stress I’m feeling in my life at the time. His Live in Texas concert is one of my top 5 favorite live albums ever made. Want a taste of that country poet who reaches women? Listen to Her First Mistake, Private Conversation, and Who Loves You Better. I must have replayed Cute As a Bug a hundred times with a hundred different heroines playing that VW driver in my own private music video. The Truck Song is my penultimate dream song. Driving an old pickup down a dirt country old to my own spread. And not really giving a damn about anyone or anything else. Pure freedom and contentment. In My Own Mind is the way I wish I could live, and do to a certain degree. Working Too Hard may be the best anthem since Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Sixteen Tons of what a man will do to care for his love. Don’t Touch My Hat is the heart and soul of Texas men everywhere. That’s Right is the anthem for ALL Texans at heart, no matter where they live. When you’re ready to cut loose, pass out the lyrics to Fiona and sing it to high heaven with all your friends. A special bonus: there’s a few great live cuts with Lyle’s long-time studio and stage guest Francine Reed. Sitting front-row center watching Francine belt out Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues was a treat beyond compare. Gal has one of the best comeback lines in songwriting history. (“This girl was so ugly.” . . . “Well, you ugly too.”) There’s even a couple of great takes from Lyle on church and Godly things. There ya go. Maybe the next time I go see him I’ll wear one of our Tex Howard’s shirts this time. Who knows, maybe we’ll even cook for him and the boys. You too Francine. It’ll be an honor. Have a great progressive country weekend everyone.