This album picked up where Lovett’s Pontiac left off, splitting its focus between traditional country, jazz and blues. ‘Nobody Knows Me’ falls in the album’s second half with the rest of the country songs.
Lovett falls into the ‘COUNTRY PLUS’ category. The “plus” is a designation my nerdy family has used for years to differentiate special movies and songs within certain genres from more generic examples. So Woody Allen’s movies, say, are “comedy plus” while your basic Adam Sandler vehicle is a plain old comedy.
…and His Large Band – Lyle Lovett (1989)
The AllMusic review of Lyle Lovett’s third album, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, describes the record as a spectacular way to burn bridges to the traditional country and western establishment.
Indeed, if his previous effort, Pontiac, hadn’t made it clear that Lovett was as interested in gospel and jazz as country, this record surely drove that point home.
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band was the album that introduced me to Lyle Lovett. It came to me by way of my brother-in-law, who learned of it from a college friend. You always hold a special place in your heart for the album that first acquaints you with a favorite artist, and Large Band is no exception.
Constructed as a mirror opposite of Pontiac, this album opens with the blues-jazz songs and closes with the country. All are wonderful, but side one is particularly special. Opening instrumental ‘The Blues Walk’ lets you know what you’re in for, putting all of the wonderful musicians through the paces for 2 1/2 minutes of pure swinging pleasure. That song segues into the hilarious ‘Here I Am,’ in which Lovett deadpans spoken-word verses between big shout-along choruses. Here’s my favorite: