For the first time in a decade, Texas crooner Lyle Lovett released new music on his album 12th of June. Produced by Chuck Ainlay and Lovett, the Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter’s most recent work features a mix of original music and interpretations of songs by Nat King Cole and Dave Frishberg. Released by Verve Records, the rich interwoven mix of jazz, blues, folk, and country music he is known for is front and center, and Lovett is joined by an all-star band offering beautiful harmonies and acoustic support.
Lovett’s latest album reflects the changes in his life since his last record, Release Me, which debuted Top 10 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums and whose title track reached #1 on the Americana Radio Singles Chart. The 64-year-old native Texan was raised in Klein, about halfway between Tomball and Spring, north of Houston. He grew up playing guitar and eventually played in bands on the bar circuit while studying at Texas A&M University in the early 1980s. After a brief marriage to actress Julia Roberts, Lovett met and married April Kimble in 2017 at a small ceremony in Harris County, and the pair have four-year-old twin girls together.
“My songs are rarely fiction,” Lovett says. “That’s how I approach my work. My songs are from my life. I am the character in these songs. I get to spend my life, for the most part, doing a job where I get to be myself.”
Lovett is currently on tour with his Large Band and will be co-headlining several dates with Chris Isaak. Houstonians will have to take a Texas road trip to catch a concert - he will be in Austin in late August.
“Playing music—just getting to be on stage with talented musicians—is something that takes on a life of its own,” the musician recently told American Songwriter. “When you’re on tour, and you get to walk out on stage, it’s sorta like recess at school. It’s the best time, it’s the point of the day when you just get to do what you want to do and be free. I don’t ask the guys to play the same solos every night, you know? I like standing in the middle of a musical conversation that’s happening right there, right then.”
I’ve just pursued my music the same way I always have. Whether you’re getting ready for a tour, or whether you’re getting ready to go into the studio, or whether you’re just trying to write—the process is kinda ongoing, and it’s in your head. Regardless of what you’re doing, regardless of how the rubber hits the road, when you love music and making it, you just live in that world.