Lovett likes variety and considers it part of his Houston upbringing.
"I've always thought of Texas as independent in terms of overall attitude," he said. "The people from here don't seem to really like being painted in a corner. They like to do what they want, and that's bound to have some musical trickle down."
Lovett said growing up he was exposed to all kinds of music. The biggest rock bands blew through town and there was pop radio, of course, but the music he remembered best was the stuff played around the city in small clubs.
"There were these wonderful, intimate, acoustic venues where you could go hear great songwriters like Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt or go listen to Jerry Jeff Walker and Lightning Hopkins," Lovett said.
"There was also this great rhythm and blues scene, and all of these musicians playing all this different music, they associated. It was very much a community, and it really didn't matter what music it was."
This was the atmosphere Lovett grew up in.
His love of variety has flavored his own music and the music he chooses to play. Most of the songs on "Release Me" were songs he'd sung for years, but never recorded -- except for the title song.
"I used to hear that one live," he said. "My parents used to love to go to the local dance halls and dance to live bands when I was a little boy."
Also, he picked it up for the title, which he thought was a good thing to call his last record for the record label.
It was really the only song on the record that he had to sit down and learn. The rest came pretty easily.
Lovett expected he'd record again sometime, though it was too soon to say. He hoped to find something to do with his friend John Hiatt eventually.
"There's nothing firm," he said.
The only thing for sure is that he'll be taking the Large Band out with him in August. He said he was looking forward to that, though by no means discounting his smaller Acoustic Group.
The Large Band, of course, is large, which is great, but can be economically unfeasible.
"The Acoustic Group allows us to go out and play smaller venues, allows me to work more, and," he added with a laugh, "pay everybody, which works out better in the long run for everyone."
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.