Texas troubadour Lyle Lovett’s latest album offers up an interesting concept—2 CDs of cover songs from a myriad of Texas songwriters who have influenced Lovett’s work, including Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, and Steven Fromholz among others. What these songs have in common is their potent storytelling and simple, but affecting melodies—two of the prime characteristics of Lovett’s music as well.
Highlighted by Fromholz’s vivid “Texas Trilogy,” Van Zandt’s haunting tunes, and traditional Texas classic, “Texas River Song,” Step Inside This House not only revives the work of some unjustly ignored songwriters, but also contributes compellingly to Texas mystique. My only complaint is that Lovett’s approach is a bit too suave and cool on some of the grittier tracks. Guy Clark’s material works better when sung by the master himself with that craggy, lived-in, West Texas voice. Nonetheless, Lovett’s taste is above reproach and fans of alternative country, roots rock and great songwriting will love this album.