Arguments about artist selection, seeding and who should beat who aside, this Montauk Madness bracket system ultimately works, producing plenty of heavyweight matchups already.
Lyle Lovett vs. Bruce Springsteen is a doozy, pitting two of the best songwriters and lyricists I’ve ever heard against each other in just the second round.
Springsteen got here by dispatching John Mellencamp in a unanimous vote, while Lovett came close to his own sweep, besting Elliott Smith with 89%. Continue reading
My sister has long named Lyle Lovett as her desert island artist (with the rather fanciful prerequisite that all of his future material would be delivered to the island as well).
Given Lovett’s spotty output over the last decade, that “future material” provision might not count for much anymore, but that doesn’t diminish the extraordinary quality of his first several albums.
Lovett’s second album, 1988’s Pontiac, expanded on the jazz influences he touched on in his debut. In fact, the album is split right down the middle between traditional country songs on the first side and the jazz/blues tunes on the second.
Which side you prefer probably depends on your fondness for country music. I know a certain country-averse commenter here will have a strong preference for side B. And certainly there’s a great case to be made for those songs.
Ironically, I was first introduced to Lyle Lovett by my country music-hating brother-in-law, Dana. Because Lyle Lovett is many things, but he is most certainly a country music singer-songwriter.
However, as anybody familiar with his work knows, he is equally adept at blues, jazz and gospel. The truth is, he has established such a distinctive sound that he’s essentially a genre unto himself. “Lyle Lovett” means peerless musicianship, lyrics both poignant and clever and one of the best voices in the business.