Entertainment Weekly (9/25/98, p.106) - "...Lovett makes the compositions by these kindred spirits his own, and the songs' mix of naked introspection and ironic whimsy offer a compelling glimpse into the influences that shaped his complex artistic persona." - Rating: A
Q (12/99, pp.122-123) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...The songs...are gloriously fluent of note and word, the storytelling imaginative and profound....Lovett operates as poet/reporter delivering these stuff-of-life narratives into plain beauty..."
Personnel: Lyle Lovett (vocals, acoustic guitar); Don Potter (acoustic guitar); Dean Parks (electric guitar); Jerry Douglas (Weissenborn guitar, dobro); Paul Franklin (pedal steel guitar); Sam Bush (mandolin); Stuart Duncan (fiddle); John Hagen (cello); Matt Rollings (piano); Viktor Krauss, Leland Sklar (bass); Russ Kunkel (drums); Luis Conte (percussion); Alison Krauss, David Ball, DesChamps Hood (background vocals).
Recorded at Conway Studios, Los Angeles, California.
STEP INSIDE THIS HOUSE was nominated for a 1999 Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
Personnel: Lyle Lovett (vocals, acoustic guitar); David Ball, Deschamps Hood (vocals); Don Potter (acoustic guitar); Dean Parks (electric guitar); Jerry Douglas (dobro); Sam Bush (mandolin); Stuart Duncan (fiddle); John Hagen (cello); Matt Rollings (piano); Russ Kunkel (drums); Luis Conte (percussion).
Recording information: Conway Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Michael Wilson .
In a move similar to Nanci Griffith's OTHER VOICES recordings, Lovett assembled two discs worth of songs by his favorite Texas country/folk songwriters, putting his own personal spin on the tunes that make up STEP INSIDE THIS HOUSE. While Lovett developed into a peer of Guy Clark, Vince Bell and the other songwriters he covers here, 'twas not always thus. The young Lovett grew up worshipping at the altar of these great composers, and it's that reverence that gives the album an aura of humility and respect.
Lovett's not afraid to rearrange some of these songs to suit his sound, but mostly he's concerned with getting to the heart of these tunes, so little here is radically recast. Townes Van Zandt and Walter Hyatt, both formative influences on Lovett who've passed away in the last few years, are showcased most prominently, as Lovett tackles four songs by each. For the uninitiated, STEP INSIDE THIS HOUSE is the perfect primer on the wealth of musical riches from the Lone Star State. It also happens to be a pretty damn good Lyle Lovett album, and one that shows Lyle unafraid to step out of the spotlight in the interest of setting the record straight.