Technically speaking, Lyle Lovett comes from Texas. And yet, he seems to have emerged from somewhere ... else. Emblematic of the Texas that gave us the likes of Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Lovett is clearly one of the most significant country artists to have emerged over the past three decades. He is steeped in tradition, and somehow seems to simultaneously fly in the face of it. His wry wit, unfailing ability to blend country with folk, jazz, gospel and blues in a convincing manner, and penchant for deadpan irony set him apart from the majority of his country music peers.
Lovett's most recent effort, "Release Me," is easily his finest since the brilliant "The Road to Ensenada" album, and displays the abundant abilities of Lovett's acoustic band, which will join him for in concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts, North Campus, Amherst. Tickets are $37-$67 (box office, Ticketmaster).
-- Jeff Miers