Austin City Limits is thrilled to announce the long-awaited return of a favorite Texas son on August 24th—singer, songwriter and ACL Hall of Fame legend Lyle Lovett—appearing with his iconic Large band to showcase 12th of June, his first new album in ten years.
Lovett first appeared on ACL in 1985, and has notably appeared on the series more times than any act with the exception of Willie Nelson. He returns for his ninth headlining appearance on the ACL stage, after having been memorably inducted into the ACL Hall of Fame in 2019 by actor Sean Penn. The highly-anticipated 12th of June, produced by Chuck Ainlay and Lovett, is his first for new label Verve Records and features a mix of new originals, including the singles “12th of June” and “Pants Is Overrated,” standards by Nat King Cole and Dave Frishberg, and a Horace Silver instrumental, representing Lovett’s dynamic live performances with his Large Band. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the new album continues to highlight Lovett’s ability to fuse elements of jazz, country, western swing, folk, gospel and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers.
When Lyle Lovett introduces his band, he makes a point to cite the place each artist calls home. Home—both a physical space and a metaphorical concept that includes people, space and time—plays formidably into Lovett’s new album 12th of June. His first new recording in a decade tells the stories of specific people in specific places, some operating on a different plane. And while he’s sung about cowboys and creeps, bird-snarfing preachers and the guy who reads a newspaper over your shoulder, a sense of place is as important as the people who populate his songs. “My songs are rarely fiction,” he says. “That’s how I approach my work. My songs are from my life. I am the character in these songs. I get to spend my life for the most part doing a job where I get to be myself.” That has been a guiding principle for Lovett even before he announced his arrival with Lyle Lovett more than 35 years ago. Having studied journalism in college, he sharply draws his who and where. A sense of home and place have proven the base of operations for him to imagine a set of characters to operate. Lovett’s discography isn’t like a Robert Altman film. It’s like an Altman filmography, a collection of true fictions, akin to the happenings in the Yoknapatawpha of Faulkner or the Dublin of Joyce. Like a paper boat set loose in the San Jacinto, 12th of June—the album—cuts a smooth and distinctive path, bobbing through life and death and food, contemplation and humor – signatures that have informed Lovett’s songbook since he started writing songs in his native Klein, Texas, and in College Station, where he attended Texas A&M in the 1970s. He learned from writers who appreciated character, setting, and economy of language. They did it all with ample melody, too. “This album reflects the music I grew up around,” he says. “My music is like me: I live on land that belonged to my grandfather. I live next door to my mother. I think the music reflects where I’m from and who I am.”
Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Whether touring with his Acoustic Group or his Large Band, Lovett’s live performances show not only the breadth of this Texas legend’s deep talents, but also the diversity of his influences, making him one of the most compelling and captivating musicians in popular music. Since his self-titled debut in 1986, Lovett has evolved into one of music’s most vibrant and iconic performers. Among his many accolades, including four Grammy Awards, he was given the Americana Music Association’s inaugural Trailblazer Award, was named Texas State Musician and is a member of both the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association Hall of Fame and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Lovett made his ACL debut in 1985 as a member of Nanci Griffith’s backing band and he’s made eight headlining appearances: 1987, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2004 and the final taping in ACL’s original Studio 6A in 2011. He’s appeared on two Songwriters Specials in 1994 and 2008, and in tributes to Walter Hyatt in 1997 and Townes Van Zandt in 1998, and as a featured guest of Leo Kottke in 1988, Delbert McClinton in 1997 and Shawn Colvin in 2001. Lovett was handpicked by his longtime friend Willie Nelson to perform at his own induction into the inaugural ACL Hall of Fame in 2014. Lovett was inducted into the ACL Hall of Fame in 2019. We’re thrilled to welcome him back to our stage.
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