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Lyle Lovett; Keb’ Mo’

Drawing from five repertoire discs and his recently released Curb/MCA offering, "The Road to Ensenada"-- which may be his best work yet -- Lovett mixed bouncy tales of Texas, ditties about hats and penguins, with sweeping ballads.

With:
Band: Lovett, James Gilmer, John Hagen, Viktor Krauss, Ray Herndon, Dan Tomlinson, Buck Redi, Andrea Zonn, Mark Jordan, Tim Ray, Willie Green, Helen Carter, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Sir Harry Bowens, Harvey Thompson, Charles Rose, Vinnie Ciesielski, Steve March.

Drawing from five repertoire discs and his recently released Curb/MCA offering, “The Road to Ensenada”– which may be his best work yet — Lovett mixed bouncy tales of Texas, ditties about hats and penguins, with sweeping ballads.

The big-haired singer-songwriter was also in fine form during his in-between song witticisms with his hesitant Bob Newhart-esque delivery dripping with irony and humor.

His Large Band was even larger on this outing, as every square foot of the stage was occupied by a musician or singer with considerable skill which Lovett incorporated at every musical turn.

Set’s highlights were many. But the Lovett/Willis Alan Ramsey-penned “North Dakota” (off the “Joshua Judges Ruth” disc), combined with the harmony vocals of guest Rickie Lee Jones, was among the evening’s most memorable and galvanizing moments.

Opener Keb’ Mo’ used his Robert Johnson-influenced tracks to put an enjoyable and contemporary spin on classic blues, while drawing from his two Okeh/Sony discs.

Lyle Lovett; Keb' Mo'

Production: Lyle Lovett; Keb' Mo' (Greek Theater, 6,135 seats, $ 32.75 top) Presented by Nederlander Concerts. Reviewed Aug. 11, 1996. Relying on little more than an occasional lighting change, Lyle Lovett used his considerable musical chops to deliver well-crafted, standard-setting tunes during an exemplary performance at the Greek Theater. Up-and-coming artists would be wise to check out the popular singer -- who mined two hours of gold by tapping every musical vein from jazz, gospel, country and Texas swing -- to get a sense of how to wow audiences with solid skills sans any tourstop technochicanery. L.A. may be a tough town to play, but Lovett kept the industry- and celebrity-dotted crowd enthused throughout.

With: Band: Lovett, James Gilmer, John Hagen, Viktor Krauss, Ray Herndon, Dan Tomlinson, Buck Redi, Andrea Zonn, Mark Jordan, Tim Ray, Willie Green, Helen Carter, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Sir Harry Bowens, Harvey Thompson, Charles Rose, Vinnie Ciesielski, Steve March.

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