Sun., Aug. 11, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
Mondavi Center, 7 p.m., $35-$65
It'd be easier to pin down water than Lyle Lovett. He's a musical Zelig, capable of sounding native almost anywhere. Lovett's probably most comfortable with windblown Texas country-blues inspired equally by Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt. While he's explored jazzy swing, gospel soul, jump blues, rock and folk over the years, his 2009 album—the cover-laden Natural Forces—returned to tightly drawn country balladry and keenly crafted narrative. Whatever the style, Lovett's alternately dour, sardonic and empathetic—yet always straightforward and honest—lyricism beats at its core. Last year brought the surprisingly good odds and sods collection, Release Me. 9399 Old Davis Road, www.lylelovett.com.