It was 10 years ago last month that Lyle Lovett finally emerged out from under the oppressive thumb of Curb Records who’d he’d labored under for the duration of his career, and finally fulfilled his contract with in the 2012 album Release Me after the label enacted a stern talent retention program which severely elongated the time between releases so Curb could keep artists under contract nearly indefinitely.
But once the swing-infused country legend from Texas was free, he didn’t jump right back into the studio, he seemed perfectly content enjoying the next phase of his career with a bit more ease, performing and touring with his “large band” or in smaller ensembles, and enjoying life for a change.
But now he’s back, and not soon enough to remind us of a time when songs like “Cowboy Man” and “She’s No Lady” were hits on country radio. Blazing out of College Station after being a roomy of Robert Earl Keen, sporting his unique hair and even more unique sound, Lyle Lovett fulfilled a niche in country we didn’t know we needed, and no one else seems to master quite like Lyle.
The new album is called 12th of June, but it will be released on May 13th via Verve Records. Lovett’s 12th studio album was produced by Lovett himself with Chuck Ainlay, and peeping at the video for the title track (see below), it appears that folks like Stuart Duncan, Sam Bush, Bryan Sutton, Luke Bulla, and Russ Kunkel were also part of the recording process.
What made Lyle Lovett unique was not just the swing/big band style he brought to country, but how he also instilled it with a deeper songwriting acumen. This is what earned Lovett six Gold records during his heyday. Along with numerous new originals, the album will also include a couple of standards popularized by Nat King Cole in “Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You” and “Straighten Up and Fly Right.”
It will be exciting to have some new music from Lyle Lovett, and as can be heard in the title track of the new album, the voice is still has lift, even if his hair doesn’t. This should be a good one.
12th of June is now available for pre-order.
12th of June Track List:
1. Cookin at the Continental
2. Pants Is Overrated
3. Straighten Up and Fly Right
4. Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You
5. Peel Me a Grape
6. Her Loving Man
7. 12th of June
8. Pig Meat Man
9. The Mocking Ones
10. Are We Dancing
11. On a Winters Morning