Lovett launches Lutcher 30th season

The Lutcher Theater presents Lyle Lovett and His Large Band Monday at 7:30 p.m., where the performer will celebrate the Oct. 20 release of his newest album, “Natural Forces” (Curb/Lost Highway). 

Balcony tickets are available from $35-$45 by calling 886-5535, ordering online at or dropping by the box office on Main Avenue in Orange.

In 30 years, the Lutcher Theater has presented more than 750 performances, and more than 730,000 patrons have attended performances. The theater opened in February 1980 with a standing room only performance by Liberace. The theater’s full name is the Frances Ann Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts, and it has consistently been rated as one of the top performance theaters in the state.

A native Texan, Lovett was born Nov. 1, 1957, in Klein, near Houston, which was named after his great-grandfather. He was raised on his family horse ranch in Klein where he now resides. He began his musical career as a student at Texas A&M in the late ‘70s where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and German.

Texas is the common theme running throughout “Natural Forces” but not as the subject matter as much as the songwriters Lovett chose to cover. “Natural Forces” boasts four Lovett-penned originals, with seven songs written by Texas songwriters Lovett admires. 

Despite recording with his band, most of Lovett’s arrangements on “Natural Forces” are subtle and hauntingly beautiful. His versions of Eric Taylor’s “Whooping Crane,” Vince Bell’s “Sun and Moon and Stars” and Townes Van Zandt’s “Loretta” are powerful reminders that Lovett possesses one of the most distinctive voices in music. 

Lovett has not lost his wry sense of humor and penchant for the up-tempo arrangements he’s known for, as heard on “Farmer Brown/Chicken Reel” and “Pantry” (co-written by April Kimble).

Lovett also warns of the pitfalls and demands of rock stardom in the revved up “It’s Rock And Roll” (co-written by Robert Earl Keen).

The Large Band is a formidable 12-plus member musical collective. It’s a swinging Texas big band one minute; a R&B unit the next; an uptown jazz orchestra the one after that; and then a righteous gospel outfit.  Subtract a few players for a minute and the Large Band becomes a small one, perfectly suited for subtly enhancing the most intimate and understated songs from Lovett’s deep catalog. 

Lovett is a four-time Grammy® winner and has led a remarkable career which includes thirteen albums and over four million records sold. USA Today heralded his “Texas-sized cowboy jazz,” as the Hartford Courant claimed “his 20-year career he has gone well beyond the country realm into jazz, blues and his own fertile brand of roots music.” 

Since his self-titled debut in 1986, Lovett has created an incredible body of acclaimed work. His songwriting melds blues, country, rock, gospel, big band swing, jazz and folk into a unique and rich style that has become synonymous with the artist as evidenced by such well-known songs as “If I Had a Boat,” “Nobody Knows Me,” “South Texas Girl,” “She’s No Lady,” “Baby Don’t Tolerate” and “In My Own Mind.”

Another facet of Lovett’s career is acting, which in August saw the release of his latest effort, a cameo role in Michael Meredith’s “The Open Road.” Meredith also directed Lovett in “Three Days of Rain,” but Lovett’s longest and best-known filmic collaboration was with the late director Robert Altman. He appeared in four Altman films: “The Player,” “Short Cuts,” “Pret-a-Porter” and “Cookie’s Fortune” and scored the music for another: “Dr. T and the Women.”