With all due respect to John Hiatt — a multi-talented singer-songwriter who has played everything from new wave rock to country in a 40-year career — there is a reason the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston is sold out Monday night.
And it has less to do with a guy born in Indiana and more to do with a fitting homecoming performance for Klein-native Lyle Lovett.
In most places these two go on their joint solo acoustic tour, they probably share the marquee equally. In the Lone Star State, however, Lovett is neon-lit headliner.
From Willie Nelson and Townes Van Zandt to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Billy Joe Shaver, Texas has a long history of quirky and colorful characters who sling guitars and write songs about their lives that are nearly unbelievable. Most of them lure us in with crazy tales about hard-livin' and hard-lovin' on a never-ending highway.
Lovett has hypnotized us since he emerged from Houston's Anderson Fair in the mid-80s, but his method of attraction couldn't be any different. While physically lanky with hair that often defies gravity, Lovett's demeanor and his music are neither imposing or rowdy. While most his in-state contemporaries capture us with a musical bull ride and a beer, Lovett is the soft-spoken gentleman you hope your daughter brings home.
In a 25 year career, Lovett has very silently won four Grammys and recorded 10 rich studio albums of songs, including his most recent Natural Forces. And worked with everyone from Asleep at the Wheel to Al Green.
He's acted in movies (Short Cuts, The Player) and on TV (Castle, Mad About You) and even married a major starlet at the peak of her fame (If you don't know, I'll give you a hint: She's an awfully Pretty Woman.)
Most singer-songwriters would be on TMZ more than Lindsay Lohan with a resume like that. Lovett just keeps putting on his suit and very quietly goes about the business of beautiful song. If you want to know about any of these other parts of his life, you better start learning his lyrics. His songs are about as close to kissin' & tellin' as this Texas gentleman ever gets.
Welcome home, Lyle. If only there were 100 more like you.
Lyle Lovett (with John Hiatt), 8 p.m. Monday, Grand 1894 Opera House, Galveston
Tickets: Sold out