Being able to look into the mind of one’s favorite music artist is something that many people wish they had the chance to do.
Fans of singer Lyle Lovett had that opportunity on Oct. 12 at the Allen Theatre on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock. “An Evening of Conversation with Lyle Lovett” featured Lovett talking about his background and journey in the music industry with Paul Allen Hunton, the general manager of Texas Tech Public Media.
This conversation regarded a lot of interesting topics about starting a career in the music industry and the work that is put in to becoming a famous music icon, while creating a lighthearted atmosphere through the funny mannerisms and anecdotes of Lovett.
The conversation began with a sense of nostalgia, as Lovett discussed his past at home with his family and his time as a student of journalism at Texas A&M University. These pieces of his past are things that gave Lovett many opportunities. But the two people who Lovett mentioned to be his greatest influences and motivators are his mom and dad.
“They gave me every opportunity to pursue things,” said Lovett. “My mom and dad gave me opportunities they never had.”
Opportunities such as guitar and piano lessons made music a part of Lovett’s everyday life while growing up in Klein, Texas. Despite having many interests in music and performing songs at a coffee house, Lovett expressed his lack of ambition toward music when he was in college.
“Music wasn’t something I aspired to,” said Lovett. “It was just a part of my life.”
Lovett also delved into his history in the music industry and all the effort he had to contribute toward his hobby to change it into a career.
From his early performances with his friend, Robert Earl Keen, to his demo tapes being distributed among different music production companies, Lovett discussed the hard work he put into his singing and song writing to get noticed by noteworthy producers. He signed with MCA Records in 1986.
His hard work has led to may achievements in the music industry, including the release of his early studio albums, such as “Pontiac” and “Lyle Lovett and His Large Band,” and many awards, such as his album “The Road to Ensenada” winning a Grammy Award for best country album in 1996. He has recorded 13 albums and released 25 singles. He also has acted in movies and television shows.
One instance of Lovett’s early work being noticed involves his music idol Guy Clark. Lovett described how, through a lot of hard work and determination, he was able to give his demo tape to a producer who soon gave it to Guy Clark.
Clark is the person who Lovett said he devotes his music career to, as Clark gave the tape to one of Lovett’s future producers, Tony Brown. Lovett said that Clark was once his songwriting hero who soon changed into his personal hero.
“Without his music, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now,” Lovett said about Clark’s musical influence.
The rest of the conversation continued with lots of funny and heartwarming stories from Lovett that depict his love for music and his difficult journey in the industry. The conversation was followed by questions from the audience and a surprise appearance by Terry Allen, who performed “Amarillo Highway,” with Lovett at the end of the event.
Lovett answered many questions that regarded his past when he had doubt in a music career to questions about his favorite songs.
“I try to write songs that have qualities I admire in other songs,” said Lovett. “I really enjoy songs that involve everyone on stage.”
The conversation had a lot of moments that gave the audience a sense of clarity regarding Lovett’s life. It regarded topics that clarified what it means to be a music icon, and it expressed Lovett’s devotion to the arts and his belief that art is something everyone needs.