Appellate Judge Michael Stailey envies Lyle's hair.
A large man and his large band
Some know him as the former Mr. Julia Roberts. Some know him as Lenny, the reluctant reverend who married Paul and Jamie on Mad About You. Some even know him as Sheriff Carl Tippett in Don Roos's The Opposite of Sex. But his fans know him as the long tall Texan. This gravel throated, stone faced, uncategorizable crooner continues to amaze audiences around the world and now he's able to work his magic in the comfort of your very own living room.
How is this possible, you might ask? Well, it's quite simple really. WTTW—Chicago's public broadcasting network—has revived their critically acclaimed 1970s series, Soundstage and their headliner opening act is the one and only Lyle Lovett, with special guests, dueling composers Mark Isham and the incomparable Randy Newman. Not a bad way to get started.
This edited 80-minute performance, backed by a 14 piece band and 26 piece orchestra, showcases three facets of the Texan's musical stylings. The first set consists of eight tunes from Lyle's 2003 album "Smile," a collection of film soundtrack cuts, and a mini-set by Randy Newman…
• "Blue Skies" (from the film With
Honors)—Like walking into The Green Mill (a legendary Chicago jazz
club) on a Wednesday night to enjoy a gin & tonic and a laid-back jazz
The second set brings Lyle back to his roots: an exceptional blend of country and gospel…
• "If I Had a Boat"—I can only imagine listening
to this tune as played by an impressionable young Lovett at a crowded, smoke
filled coffee house on the campus of Texas A&M in the late '70s. Every line
is a journey filled with stunning scenery in a tune devoid of destination.
Presented in high definition, full frame video, this sharp digital picture is a beauty to behold. Painted on a canvas of black, the performance is enhanced with splashes of reds, greens, blues, and purples, to suit the mood of each piece. Exceptional camera work puts you front and center without ever missing a beat. To top it all off, a robust 5.1 Dolby Surround track will convert your living room into a living, breathing jazz hall—the smoky atmosphere is optional. An equally impressive 2.0 Stereo track is also provided for those without a surround system.
I had the pleasure of seeing Lyle in concert four ago at Chicago's Ravinia Festival. For as enjoyable an evening as that was, this performance rises head and shoulders above. Then again, I am a rabid Randy Newman fan, which obviously skews my response. He'll be back again this summer and I don't plan on missing it.
Until this long tall Texan makes his way to your neck of the woods, I highly recommend picking up Soundstage presents Lyle Lovett, Live in Concert. After watching it, keep the disc on hand to play in the background for your next dinner party or social gathering. At a mere $19.98, you can't argue with good music at a great price.
So pop the cork on that bottle of wine, get some great take out food, and kick back for an evening of great music you are guaranteed to enjoy!
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