February 01, 1988 12:00 PM

Lyle Lovett

In another time and another place, Lovett could have found a spot singing with one of Count Basie’s early Kansas City bands. He can’t shout the blues like Jimmy Rushing, maybe, or croon them like Joe Williams, but he sure can get them across. His medium is a cross between country rock and Texas swing, spiced by clever songwriting. Regretting a marriage to a strong-minded gal in She’s No Lady, he sings, “The preacher asked her/And she said, ‘I do’/The preacher asked me/And she said, ‘Yes, he does too.’ ” Lovett has a full-voiced, lightly drawling style with a touch of honky-tonk. It is just the thing to pair with Emmylou Harris, who provides harmonies on two tracks on this album (Lovett’s second), including the unaffectedly romantic Walk Through the Bottomland. Drummer Harry Stinson propels a first-rate studio group behind Lovett. The country woods are full of young lions these days—David Lynn Jones, Tom Kimmel, Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam, to name a few—but none of them has shown any more talent than this 30-year-old Texan. (MCA)

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