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.