Lyle Lovett & Vince Gill@Chumash Casino 03.20.17

Vince Gill and Lyle Lovett showed that the fundamentals of jazz can be universally adapted to any genre of music. Elements of swing, blues, improvisation, a unique voice and a story to tell were all provided during the intimate and cozy 2 hour set at the packed Chumash Casino.

If one of the keys to art is having one’s own voice, Lovett and Gill are exhibits A and B, as Lovett growls out songs like the whimsical “If I Had A Boat” with a rasp as if he’s been trapped hitch-hiking all day on Highway 20, and Gill’s avuncular warmth sounds like the trucker that just got out of a diner and picked him up with. Both gents shared spontaneous and sometimes hilarious stories between songs that told stories in themselves, reminiscing about the Grand Old Opry and Guy Clark, as Lovett gives a tribute to Guy Clark on the thoughtful “Step Inside This House” and shows he’s got the chops to pick and grin on a raucous “Penguin Song.”

Gill continued the campfire mood, trading songs and barbs while telling musical stories about his favorite Martin 6 stringer on “This Old Guitar and Me, ” a tender tune to his wife on “Whenever You Come Around” and a thoughtful reflection of one’s spirit on the gospel-toned “Go Rest High On That  Mountain.” Together, they showed that they knew their way around the guitar neck, as Gill produced some bluesy boogie on “One More Last Chance” and “Oklahoma Borderline” and Lovett made the strings bend and snap like Reese Witherspoon on “If I Had a Boat” and the toe tapping “She Makes Me Feel Good.”

The mix of casual spontaneity, chops, good stories and lyrical musicality made an example of what’s right in American music, and whether it’s jazz or its first cousin bluegrass, it gets you feeling good about life in this country. What more do you want?

Upcoming shows at Chumash Casino include Michael MacDonald Apr 7, America Apr 21 and The Commodores June 9

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