In fact, Lovett released six full-length albums of original material during his first decade as a recording artist and has released only two in the 13 years since. He has filled the rest of that time with soundtrack appearances, covers albums and a live release. I often wonder about those bursts of creativity that give way to long dry spells, and Lovett is another example. I don’t necessarily suspect that his best work is behind him, but I wonder if he still possesses the creative fire that led to that extraordinary run.
The follow-up to The Road to Ensenada was a 1998 2-disc album of covers called Step Inside This House. Lovett chose to follow his biggest hit yet with a tribute to fellow Texas songwriters, an admirable decision indeed. And the batch of songs he chose are all quite good… just not Lyle Lovett good.
Here’s the opening track, ‘Bears,’ written by Steven Frumholz, who is also responsible for the highlight of Side Two, a three-part opus known as ‘Texas Trilogy.’ I hope Lovett’s album brought him some attention.
Some folks never seen a bear at all
Some folks say that bears go around eating babies raw
Some folks got a bear across the hall
Some folks say that bears go around smelling bad
Others say that a bear is honey sweet
Some folks say this bear’s the best I ever had
Some folks got a bear beneath their feet
Some folks drive the bears out of the wilderness
Some to see a bear would pay a fee
Me I just bear up to my bewildered best
And some folks even see the bear in me
So meet a bear and take him out to lunch with you
And even though your friends may stop and stare
Just remember that’s a bear there in the bunch with you
And they just don’t come no better than a bear