Lyle Lovett’s Grand release

Sing­er/song­writer Lyle Lovett will per­form at Wilm­ing­ton’s Grand Op­era House Ju­ly 31. In Feb­ru­ary, Lovett put out his most re­cent al­bum, Re­lease Me, his last with re­cord la­bel Curb.


Four-time Grammy Award win­ning sing­er/song­writer Lyle Lovett takes the stage at the Grand Op­era House Ju­ly 31 along with his Acous­tic Group per­form­ing a mu­sic­al blend of blues, coun­try, folk, gos­pel and jazz.

His latest re­cord is titled Re­lease Me, iron­ic­ally his last for Curb, which has been his la­bel for his en­tire pro­fes­sion­al ca­reer. The al­bum cov­er is a pic­ture of Lovett tied up in ropes (with tongue firmly planted in cheek!).

“My first re­lease for Curb was in 1986,” Lovett re­called. “It’s a very rare thing today to be in a re­cord deal for that long, so this is my way, I guess, of sort of say­ing OK, this is it.”

And with the good­bye, comes a song se­lec­tion in keep­ing with the idea that it’s his last for Curb. It’s a cul­min­a­tion re­cord and Lovett has put on a couple of ori­gin­al songs, while many are the ones he used to play when he was an up-and-com­ing young sing­er.

And today, as a “free agent,” Lovett said his only plans are to “con­tin­ue writ­ing songs and mak­ing an­oth­er re­cord. I def­in­itely don’t in­tend to stop. It’ll just be a little dif­fer­ent than it has been, and I’m ex­cited about that.”

Born in Texas and al­ways lov­ing mu­sic, Lovett said while he stud­ied gui­tar and pi­ano, played alto sax, and sang in the school choir, he nev­er dreamed he’d be able to make mu­sic for a liv­ing.

“My par­ents al­ways en­cour­aged me no mat­ter what I wanted to do,” said Lovett, 55. “So after high school, I went off to Texas A&M Uni­versity to study Ger­man and journ­al­ism. In high school, I sang with a friend of mine dur­ing the sum­mers. And when I even­tu­ally went to col­lege, I star­ted writ­ing mu­sic, play­ing in cof­fee houses and even a loc­al pizza par­lor, nev­er be­ing able to get mu­sic com­pletely out of my mind.”

After gradu­ation, Lovett left Texas to study abroad in Ger­many, where he met a loc­al coun­try mu­si­cian by the name of Buf­falo Wayne, who in­cluded Lovett in a coun­try-west­ern themed event that sort of set the stage for the sing­er’s ca­reer.

By the time the young Lovett re­turned to the States, he thought about get­ting a “real job,” but first went to Nashville where he was “dis­covered” and signed with Curb. And all these years later, the tall, lanky Tex­an said some things have changed along the way.

“I hope I’ve grown as a per­son and as a crafts­man,” he said. “I’ve had the lux­ury of be­ing able to per­form my own songs, be a char­ac­ter with­in those songs, and ac­cep­ted as such. I’ve also been al­lowed to be my­self so I nev­er felt the need to fol­low cur­rent trends in pop­u­lar mu­sic. I’m not writ­ing songs for the pop­u­lar re­cord­ing artist to have a hit. I write things that re­flect my own, in­di­vidu­al spir­it.”

Lovett has also ap­peared on the screen, but he doesn’t con­sider him­self a “real act­or.”

“I en­joy the pro­cess, but I nev­er pur­sued it the way you need to in or­der to be really good at it,” he ex­plained. “On a small level I en­joy fig­ur­ing out how to make a short film and peek through the win­dows of someone else’s pro­cess, like the great Robert Alt­man, who is an in­cred­ible per­son and a won­der­ful teach­er.”

In fact, it was while do­ing Alt­man’s film The Play­er in 1993, that Lovett met and mar­ried act­ress Ju­lia Roberts. They were di­vorced in ’95, but he said they re­main friends.

Today, Lovett said he real­izes he has re­grets and that, giv­en the chance, he might do things dif­fer­ently.

“I’m al­ways amazed when people say they wouldn’t change a thing. I would change a lot of things,” he said. “But at the same time, I couldn’t hope for a bet­ter res­ult. I’m very happy with where I am now, happy with the com­pany I keep, and very happy to have the abil­ity to be on stage and to make mu­sic.” ••

For times and tick­et in­form­a­tion, call 1-800-37­GRAND. 

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