Americana A to Z – Lyle Lovett

It was about 2015 that I first developed a love of country music. Now I know what you’re thinking, ‘don’t start talking about how much you love Dolly Parton’, but let me finish. It didn’t take long for my family members to also take an interest in country music, but like me they weren’t particular fans of the now ever-present pop-country, but much more fans of things that could definitely be described as Americana.

And it was one of my brothers who got me to listen to an album called ‘Pontiac‘ by a brilliant lyricist. If you didn’t know already, that lyricist was Lyle Lovett. As an AUK colleague put it a couple weeks ago writing about Jason Isbell, what else is there to write about such a legend of the industry other than my own personal experience with him?

Lovett is perhaps most widely known outside the music industry for marrying Julia Roberts in 1993 in a classic ill-fated celebrity marriage. Amusingly, this happened to collide with his most successful spell in the music industry, winning four Grammys in his great career. Unknowingly for me, my first encounter with him was from Toy Story, where he appeared on the brilliant ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’.

The album that is the one that truly makes him stand out for me however is the aforementioned ‘Pontiac‘, the first from a long line of amazing records written by Lovett, which contains a few of my favourite songs of all time and ones that are regularly played in my house and possibly to the annoyance of my University housemates. Lyrics such as ‘If I had a boat, I’d go out on the ocean, and if I had a pony, I’d ride him on my boat’ are so clever and funny that they deserve as to be appreciated as much as modern rappers do today for they lyricism.

And it was just my luck that in 2019, C2C announced that Lyle Lovett was going to be playing at the O2 – it was something I will never forget. His confidence in himself and the way he commands a stage is something that is truly mesmerising. Seeing him is something that you should never turn down if you get the chance.

And for someone at the young age of 62, there’s still more to come from one of the best singer-songwriters that there will ever be, and someone who rightly deserves the spot of L in the Americana A-Z (and not just because both his names start with it).


Lyle Lovett (1986), Pontiac (1988), Lyle Lovett and His Large Band (1989), Joshua Judges Ruth (1992), I Love Everybody (1994), The Road to Ensenada (1996), Step Inside This House (1998), My Baby Don’t Tolerate (2003), It’s Not Big It’s Large (2007), Natural Forces (2009), Release Me (2012).


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Stephen Goldsmith

I’ve seen Lyle all over the place, on his own and with his large band. Always great, always wry and always charming. Check out his duet with Keb Mo singing the Bob Seger song Till it Shines. Remarkable piece of music.


Theres some nice stuff he does with Leo Kottke as well. Leo’s a funny guy and we dont hear enough about him