Lyle Lovett and his Large Band will play Vancouver Island MusicFest July 10.

MusicFest going Large on Friday night

Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, Friday, July 10, main stage

  • Feb. 24, 2015 8:00 p.m.

Terry Farrell

Record staff

Ready for the next “big” Vancouver Island MusicFest announcement? This one is so big, it’s “large”!

Lyle Lovett and his Large Band will grace the stage at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds on Friday night, July 10.

Lyle Lovett and his Large Band is aptly named. A four-piece horn/wind section, five-piece string section, piano/keyboard accompanists and drums will share the stage with the Americana roots/country/blues legend.

“It should be a great show,” said MusicFest artistic director Doug Cox, who said fans can expect a variety of sounds from the act.

“Describing his music as one genre is really tough. Some of it verges on swing, some of it verges on bluesy kind of stuff and some of it is definitely country,” said Cox. “He really is the heir to the Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt school of Texas singer/songwriters, but his career has gone way beyond that as well. His mass appeal has taken him even further than those guys, with his celebrity status and all that kind of stuff. Not just his singing, but everything else he does as well.”

With 14 albums and 22 singles to his credit, Lovett’s musical repertoire is vast.

And if he’s not in your record collection, chances are his music is in your movie DVD collection.

His songs are featured in movies ranging from The Firm to Toy Story.

If I had a Boat, which Lovett originally released in 1987, on his Pontiac album, is slated to be part of the soundtrack for Still Alice, set to be released this year.

If it isn’t his music appearing in movies and on TV, it’s the man himself.

He most recently appeared in the recurring role of Monte P. Flagman in the television series The Bridge.

But at the heart of his many successes is the music.

His four Grammy Awards are testament to his talent.

His six gold records are proof of his popularity.

The ability to sign an act of this magnitude adds to the legend that is the Vancouver Island MusicFest.

“I’m a big fan of Lyle Lovett’s so I’m very happy about that,” said Cox. “But mainly I am just trying to continue to  make sure that the artists that we do present are of very high quality musically, and that they fit with what MusicFest is all about, other than just booking someone because they are famous and we know they will sell a bunch of tickets.”

Cox said it’s a fine line and one he treads every year.

“It’s a juggling act to try to find an act that is well known enough to draw media excitement but also matches the overall scope of what the festival is all about. And that’s tougher to do as the years go by because we try not to repeat (acts).”

Other acts announced

Cox has been announcing one act every day on the website since the initial announcement of Buddy Guy, Leftover Salmon, Maddy Prior & Steeley Span, and Hot Rize.

There are now more than 20 acts announced for the weekend, which is shaping up to be another worldly musical experience.

Here’s a brief overview of some  of the acts announced to date:

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba – one of Mali’s most influential bands of the 21st century.

Maggie Bell & Dave Kelly – Two stalwarts of the British R&B scene, two great voices, two great reputations.

The Bros. Landreth – Canadian roots rockers from Winnipeg.

Alpha Yaya Diallo & Boujou Badialy Cissoko – two West African musicians share the stage.

Ewan Dobson – 2009 Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Champion and one of Canada’s most brilliant and exhilarating guitarists.

Mary Flower – American guitarist, singer, songwriter.

Fruteland Jackson – contemporary and traditional acoustic blues guitarist from Mississippi.

Petunia & The Vipers – swing, ragtime, bluegrass and a bit of yodelling all rolled into one. This Canadian group promises to serve up one of the funnest sets of the weekend.

Quinn Sullivan – Quinn Sullivan burst onto the blues scene eight years ago. The guitar prodigy turns 16 next month.

Ralph Shaw – The United Kingdom’s Ukelele King. Nothing more needs to be said.


There will also be a special collaboration effort of B.C. musicians called “Worldbeat at Home – BC Culture Zone”.

For a complete list of all the acts announced to date, as well as samples of all their music, go to



–with files from Vancouver Island MusicFest


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