Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Song: A Hallelujah from Lyle Lovett

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Song is Lyle Lovett’s “Church”:

I’ve wanted to post a piece of music from the great Lyle Lovett for some time. It’s been hard to choose just which. There’s any number of songs I could have posted. “Don’t Touch My Hat,” That’s Right You’re Not From Texasand “She’s No Lady” are a heck of a lot of fun. “She’s Hot to Go” swings. “Step Inside This House” is a bit of country with its taste of sadness and loneliness. But “Church” has won out.

Lyle Lovett burst upon the musical scene in the mid-eighties. When I first saw him on this or that tv show, I knew he was the genuine article. A great singer with a great sound with great songs. On top of it all, he was backed up by his Large Band.

When you search for his name on the Google, the Wiki proclaims him a country singer-songwriter. But like so many Texas musicians, he is larger than that. He does country, for sure. But he’s swing, gospel, blues and rock ‘n’ roll, depending on what he’s singing. And sometimes a stew of all of those traditions thrown in together for some good eatin’.

By the fact he’s from Texas. You’d know that just by seeing that he does his own “That’s Right You’re Not From Texas.” Like many Texas artists, he’s hard to peg down. Willie (that’s Willie Nelson) could easily be classified as a jazz singer. Townes Van Zant sang the blues like nobody. ‘Course he was a man who had lived those blues. Steve Earle is as much a folk singer as he is country. And where do you classify a song like Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother”?

And just for kicks, throw in Buddy Holly, Z Z Top, Norah Jones, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Dixie Chicks, Ornette Coleman, Erykah Badu, Gene Autry, Johnny Mathis, Janis Joplin, Barry White, Van Cliburn and the Winters Brothers, Johnny and Edgar. And never ever forget that Bob Wills is the daddy of them all. As you can see, Lyle Lovett fits right in.

“Church” takes me back to the time before the mega-churches starting mega-ing all over the  place. Before Tammy and Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggart showed us how much Elmer Gantry there still was in American Christianity. It takes me back to the time to Sunday-go-to-meeting-and-dinner-on-the-ground time when “just folks” gathered for a mighty good time on the Sabbath. I could wax nostalgia-like here but I’d be a bore. So enjoy the song and maybe it will take you back too.

And just in case you haven’t got enough of Lyle, here’s another one:

The Alamo Song

March 6, 1836: The day the Alamo fell.

When Santa Ana
Was a top banana
Way down Mexico

He ruled the land
With an iron hand
This Generalissimo

He took no crap
From any chap
Gave them the old heave-ho

This boss of the class
He took no sass
From any friend or foe

Well, the folks in Texas
They gave him the hexes
Told him just where to go

Travis and the boys
Against all odds
Faced him toe to toe

This rag-tag band
They took their stand
In San Antonio

Behind mission walls
Stood brave and tall
Down at the Alamo

Davy Crockett came
With his motley gang
A thousand miles or so

Bowie and his knife
Left his wand’ring life
To give Texas a go

For freedom they loved
The freedom to shove
To a place they’d grow

These glory guys;
They were, storywise,
The best we had to show

In ‘thirty-six
They took their fix ‘
Gainst old Mexico

For General Sam
They stood their ground
Many years ago

Heroes all
They stood so tall
Faced that Generalissimo

Now can be told
Just how bold
They stood at the Alamo