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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Great Tales and Humor From Lovett

August 22, 1995|STEVE HOCHMAN

Anyone who went to Lyle Lovett's Greek Theatre show on Sunday to hear tales from the tabloids should have stayed home to watch "Hard Copy." Lovett's famed deadpan and understatement seem unscathed by his much-publicized romantic adventure.

Even his wry delivery of Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man"--part of his repertoire before, during and, now, after his marriage to Julia Roberts--was given his standard blend of postmodern irony filtered through sincere, Gary Cooper-like dignity.

Sure, a few new songs could be read as references to the romance and/or breakup. But Lovett's just too much of a Texan (as he kept reminding the crowd) to air his laundry in public.

Instead, Lovett's show was simply a collection of great tales, showcasing his impish humor, eye for unusual detail and truly sneaky way with a punch line. Where those virtues have been undermined in some past shows by bad pacing, this night flowed as one piece, with Lovett making excellent use of various country, swing, gospel and folk combinations executed by his sharp (and sharp-dressed) Large Band. Opening act Shawn Colvin also joined for some lovely duets.

This was something of a transitional show professionally, if not personally, with Lovett's last album nearly a year old and his next not due until spring. But it showed clearly that when the gossip-mongers are long gone, Lovett will still be here--the long tall Texan with a saddlebag full of great material.

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