The last Lincoln Center Out of Doors show. Before the show I watched a bit of Lyle Lovett and His Large Band’s soundcheck and then got some excellent brisket from the Hill County BBQ truck. By the time I got on line it was around the corner – but I was assured that I was about number 900 and the venue holds 2600 so I was fine.
Before the show people in the audience were dancing to the Western swing or finding ways to avoid the setting sun.
The Large Band comes out first and each one gets a solo. Then from the audience Francine Reed appeared singing a blues song and she made it up to the stage. Then out comes Lovett. About a third of the way through the set, the horns and Reed left the stage. They did come back at the end for two or three songs. His Large Band is very large – electric guitar, fiddle, percussion, drums, upright bass, cello, mandolin (also plays electric guitar), organ, trombone, trumpet, alto sax, and tenor sax. Each of the musicians has his own solo career and Lovett let two of them play some of their original songs. Harmonica player Mickey Raphael joined the band for “All Downhill From Here.”
Lovett’s music is real Americana – there’s country and Western, bluegrass, folk, blues, and jazz. He’s witty and funny but can be serious. You’ll be listening to a lover’s lament when all of sudden he throws in a funny line that makes you laugh out loud. And he doesn’t make you wait to hear the hits. “Church” and “Here I Am” were right at the front of the set. They performed Lester Flatts’ “Head Over Heels.” We heard “If I Had a Boat,” “She’s No Lady,” “South Texas Girl,” and “Pass Me Not.”
It was another lovely summer evening in NYC enjoying free music.
By Carene Lydia Lopez