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Music doesn't get any better than this

Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
The Fox Theatre
Tucson, AZ
July 24, 2015
Lyle Lovett Francine Reed
Francine Reed
Lyle Lovett

Review and photos by Mary Andrews

Lyle Lovett and his Large Band graced the Fox Theatre stage with some of the best musicians in show business today. The two and one half hour show proved that songs with a story of love and heartbreak still reign supreme in country music. Last night's show also featured the husky voiced gospel singer, Francine Reed.

The show started with Ms. Reed entering the auditorium from the rear of the theatre, making her way to the stage singing her rousing rendition of "Wild Women Don't Have the Blues." The audience was geared up for a rowdy show at that point and the band was ready to deliver.

Lyle Lovett was has modestly remarked in the past how he has surrounded himself with musicians "better than myself." "Once a year, for a couple of months, my closest and best friends go out on the road." Some of these musicians have worked with Mr. Lovett since 1978. "Life does not get any better than that."

He introduced Matt Rollings on piano and mentioned that he was from Phoenix. The audience surprised Lovett with boos. He mentioned Ray Herndon on guitar was from Scottsdale and the fans displayed more scorn. Lyle responded, "I totally get what you mean. I'm from Houston and Dallas seems to be a world away or another country." Buck Reid on steel guitar is from Nashville and Viktor Krauss on bass is from Champagne, Il. Luke Bulla on fiddle is from Washington state, Keith Sewell from Texas, on guitar, John Hagen on cello, James Gilmer on congas, and Russ Kunkel on drums. Some of the Muscle Shoals Horns included Chet Willis and Harvey Thompson on trumpet, Charles Rose on trombone, and Brad Leali on saxophone. Finally Lovett hesitantly mentioned Francine Reed as being from Georgia and Phoenix seemingly afraid to incite more scorn from the crowd.

The music covered Lovett's near 30-year career and he moved from blues, gospel, jazz, bluegrass, Western swing to country and back to gospel. Lovett seemed to be very comfortable in any genre presented. He has a casual, relaxed demeanor and a wry sense of humor that has been displayed in his songwriting and his shows. His songwriting is smart, sharp and authentic. Lovett's voice still has an aching, yearning quality that leads the listener into the heartbreak of life. It is the perfect vehicle for country music. Just as he transported the crowd into the throws of depression, he would deliver the droll, "She's No Lady." Lyle Lovett and His Large Band subtlely lead the audience through every emotion from sadness to joy to jubilation. This was Lyle Lovett at his best. In his own words, "making up songs and playing guitar is not work."
Set List:
1. The Blues Walk (Lyle Lovett song)
2. Wild Women Don't Have the Blues (with Francine Reed)
3. What Do You Do/The Glory of Love
4. Church
5. I've Been to Memphis
6. Here I Am
7. Since the Last Time
8. I Will Rise Up
9. I Know You Know
10. All Downhill From Here
11. Who Loves You Better
12. In My Own Mind
13. L.A. County
14. The Temperance Reel (with Luke Bulla)
15. Night's Lullaby
16. Traveler's Prayer (with Keith Sewell)
17. Head Over Heels
18. Nobody Knows Me
19. If I Had a Boat
20. She's No Lady
21. That's Right (You're Not From Texas)
22. Pass Me Not O Savior

23. She Makes Me Feel Good
24. White Freightliner Blues

Related articles:

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt Concert review - Tucson, AZ - November 2013
Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - March 2012
Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - February 2009
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - July 2008
Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Joe Ely and Guy Clark Concert review - Milwaukee, WI - Jan. 2007
SxSW Festival (Lyle Lovett) Festival review - Austin, TX - Mar. 2005
The 5th Annual Madison Bluesfest (Lyle Lovett) Festival review - Madison, WI - Aug. 2002

Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
Lyle Lovett Francine Reed
Francine Reed
Lyle Lovett

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