Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lyle Lovett: Step Inside This House

Last night I showed some love to John Hiatt, one half of the co-bill that I'll be seeing on Sunday night in the District. Tonight, I'm going to feature the other half, Mr. Lyle Lovett. Of all the songs I've listened to of his in recent weeks, having not heard much at all before that, I've been the biggest fan of those on his Step Inside This House album. Released in 1998, this double disc set features the songs of his fellow Texas artists, including those that inspired him to write songs himself. The writers selected include Robert Earl Keen, Michael Martin Murphey, Willis Alan Ramsey, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, and Walter Hyatt. Lyle's band for this record includes bluegrass living legends Sam Bush on mandolin, Jerry Douglas on dobro, and Alison Krauss on background vocals.

The title track is one of my favorites on the album, and is the one I'll share here. The song was written by Guy Clark, the man who penned "Desperados Waiting For a Train", which was taken to the Top 20 by the legendary Highwaymen (Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings). Lyle's voice on this tune shows off the perfect laid-back confidence that is unfailingly consistent on every song he sings.

Step inside this house girl
I'll sing for you a song
I'll tell you 'bout just where I've been
It shouldn't take too long
I'll show you all the things that I own
My treasures you might say
Couldn't be more than ten dollars worth
They brighten up my day


Watch a video of Guy Clark performing "Desperados Waiting For A Train" from the Heartworn Highways DVD, a documentary film by James Szalapski capturing some of the founders of the Outlaw Country movement in Texas and Tennessee in the mid 70s.

Watch the performance of 'My Baby Don't Tolerate' from an episode of Austin City Limits [PBS] featuring the quartet of Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Guy Clark, and Joe Ely, recorded on 10/20/2006.

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