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Lyle Lovett’s ‘June 12’ is worth the wait | Sound stories and interviews | Fold | The Weekly Source

Lyle Lovett has just released “12th of June”, his first album of original material in 10 years. In another example of the pandemic getting in the way of the best-laid plans, Lovett had everything planned for a much earlier arrival of his latest batch of music.

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  • Michael Wilson
  • With a wedding, the birth of twins and a new album, Lyle Lovett is more than ready to hit the road with his Large Band.

“We recorded these tracks in November 2019 with the idea of ​​finishing them in March 2020,” Lovett said in a phone interview in early June. “I did an acoustic band tour that started in January and ended on March 7 of that year. I was going to spend the rest of the month working on the record and finishing it up for release in 2020. And of course that did not happen.”

While Lovett was able to join his Large Band in the studio and record the basic tracks for “12th of June,” the pandemic had a huge effect on the mixing and other work needed from that point on to complete the album.

“Chuck Ainlay, my producer in Nashville, was going through the tracks and mixing, and reviewing as we made changes and edits. He would email me everything he was doing and then I ‘was listening myself,’ Lovett said. “It just wasn’t the same. Back and forth just isn’t as fun, really, because a decision that would take five minutes to make in the studio would end up being two or three days over email. So it slowed down It’s not as fun to listen and analyze something on your own as it is to work with people, so I missed the interaction The humanity that I missed in making the recording, and it was more, in the context of being isolated from the world anyway, it added to that feeling of isolation rather than diminished it.”

Ultimately, Lovett worked in person with Ainlay to put the finishing touches on “June 12”, but that didn’t happen until early this year.

So better late than never, Lovett fans finally have some new music to enjoy. And while Lovett, one of music’s finest songwriters, has had his share of excellent albums that lean towards country and feature a good deal of acoustic instrumentation (think his second album, “Pontiac” by 1987, “Joshua Judges Ruth” from 1992 or “Release Me”) from 2012, “12th of June” is his third studio album presented with his Large Band.

With this talented ensemble of musicians (it will be a 14-member unit for this summer’s tour), Lovett is able to significantly expand his musical reach. This is evident from the start of “12th of June,” which opens with a version of jazz great Horace Silver’s “Cookin’ at the Continental,” a driving instrument that allows the Large Band to show off its considerable chops. Three duets with Lovett’s longtime vocal counterpart Francine Reed further bolster the jazz credentials of everyone involved as they tackle two songs associated with Nat “King” Cole, the energetic “Straighten Up & Fly Right”, the bluesy ballad “Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good to You”, as well as the standard written by David Frishberg, “Peel Me A Grape”.

Lovett’s more country sound emerges on the ballads “Her Loving Man”, “The Mocking Ones” and the title track, while “Pig Meat Man” puts a bit of soul and blues into the mix, and “Are We Dancing adds a string-laden ballad rooted in the pre-rock and roll era.

The long gap between “12th of June” and Lovett’s previous album, 2012’s “Release Me,” was largely the product of being between record deals and needing time to figure out how he wanted to release his next collection of songs, coupled with a major development in Lovett’s personal life – his marriage to longtime girlfriend April Kimble in 2017, followed by the birth of the couple’s twins. Along with touring commitments – Lovett tends to perform around 100 concerts in normal years – these factors have taken up a lot of time over the past decade.

Marriage and fatherhood feature prominently in the lyrics of the original “June 12” songs. “Her Loving Man” is a sweet tribute to Kimble and his intelligence, wisdom and warmth. The title track is a touching tune that imagines a father carrying his love for his wife and children into the next life. Lovett applies his trademark tongue-in-cheek humor to “Pants is Overrated,” inspired by a day when his kids resisted dressing up, and “Pig Meat Man,” an ode to pork.

Lovett can’t wait to share songs and messages from his new songs on tour with his Large Band this summer.

“We’ll be playing material from my catalog, but we’ll definitely be featuring material from this (new) album,” he said. “It’s always fun to have a new record, and it’s always fun to have a reason to play those newly recorded songs. We did six shows in four days in New York in May, the week after the release. from the album, and we had a great time playing together for the first time as a Large Band since August 2019. So we had a great time all together, and that really made me look forward to this tour.

Lyle Lovett and His Big Band (with Chris Isaak)
Fri., June 24, 7 p.m.
Hayden Homes Amphitheater
344 Shevlin Hixon Drive
$39.50 to $99.50 plus service charge