Lyle Lovett Gigs With Texas Peers

Idiosyncratic singer/songwriter/actor Lyle Lovett launched a tour in support of his new album, Step Inside This House (Curb/MCA), with four sold-out shows at the Bottom Line in New York City on Sept. 22 and 23. The show, like the album, was a tribute to a handful of so-called "Texas school" songwriters, including Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark -- whom Lovett counts as major influences on his own work. Surrounding Lovett onstage for a round-robin performance were Texas-based musicians (and writers of some of the songs Lovett covered on his new album) Eric Taylor, Robert Earl Keen Jr. (Lovett's roommate at Texas A&M University), Michael Martin Murphey (best known for his '70s hit "WildFire") and Steve Fromholz; watching from the audience was Lovett's ex-wife, movie star Julia Roberts.