Variety, March 22, 1988

Concert Review:

Lyle Lovett & His Large Band
Vic Theater, Chicago
{Surprise appearance by Leo Kottke]

      Singing songs from his recent Lyle Lovett & His Large Band album and last year's Pontiac, Lovett and team displayed adeptness for a range of musical styles, from big band to r&b to classic country.  Though he remains true to his Texas roots, Lovett defies cateogirzation due to his sly lyrics and cerebral repartee.

      Concert opened in same manner as his new album, wth a bow to his band's finesse in a number called "The Blues Walk," leading into a rousing rendition of the mojo proclamation "Here I Am," a swinging r&b tune enjoying solid airplay.  This number also featured the guts and style of backup singer Francine Reed, a Chi native.  To Lovett's credit, he later relinquished the mike to Reed, who brought the house down with her performance of "Wild Women Don't Get The Blues."

      Particularly well received  were the rollicking swing numbers, like "She's No Lady (She's My Wife)" and "Cryin' Shame," displaying the urbanity and cynical wit that are becoming Lovett signatures.  

      At one point in the show, the band left the stage and Lovett was joined by renowned guitarist Leo Kottke and cellist John Hagen; latter's playing added a haunting touch.  When he brought out a violin and played it like a cello, the audience knew it was witnessing something rare:  musicians performing out of sheer respect for their craft. -- Hunt.

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