Lovett mix-up gives podcast host new fans
© Getty Images

Sixteen members of a family journeyed far for “Lovett or Leave It,” but were shocked to discover that they had signed up to see former President Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett, rather than their beloved Lyle Lovett.

“My sister is a huge Lyle Lovett fan, and we have been trying to get a weekend together with my cousins for a long time,” Belinda Walker of El Paso, Texas, explains to ITK.


So when Walker’s sister saw that Lovett, the “Cowboy Man” country music crooner, was performing in Austin last weekend, she snagged tickets and organized a long-awaited family get-together.

The Lovett fandom is apparently strong among the Walker women. “Everybody, surprisingly, was like, ‘We’re in, we’re in,’ ” Walker recalls.

So more than a dozen female family members, including Walker’s first and second cousins, her mother and grandmother and others, came from all over — Arizona, New Orleans, Colorado — descending on Austin.

“We all rearranged our schedule to go away for this weekend and we were calling it the ‘girls gone wild’ weekend,” says Walker.

But a few weeks before they were about to hop on the plane, one relative realized when looking at the ticketing website that they were about to commit a legendary Lovett snafu.

“It was not the right show,” Walker remembers with a big laugh. Rather than seeing 61-year-old Lyle Lovett perform some of his classics, three generations of the Walker clan had plunked down about $100 a ticket to see a live taping of Jon Lovett’s wildly popular progressive Crooked Media podcast.

Realizing the mix-up, the family decided that they’d still see Lovett — even if it wasn’t the Grammy Award-winning one.

“We all still went,” says Walker, who’s pursuing a master’s degree to become a family nurse practitioner. “The funny thing is about half of us are very liberal, half of us are very conservative.”

While some of her relatives, including an 85-year-old aunt, grumbled about the goof, Walker says all-in-all, there was some love for Lovett: “We all had a blast. It was so much fun.”

A representative for Lyle Lovett didn’t get back to us. 

But Jon Lovett, who also co-hosts “Pod Save America,” told ITK in a statement, “Look, I am grateful to Lyle Lovett for creating interest in ‘Lovett or Leave It,’ and I just want to make sure baffled music fans have a good time even though a live podcast where I yell about politics and ‘Game of Thrones’ is the exact opposite of the dulcet tones they were looking for.”

Walker, 45, says although she considered herself “a little more conservative” than most of the audience at the show, she enjoyed the taping and even plans on listening to some future podcasts.

She also says the Walker family will see the other Lovett ... at some point.

While she digs Jon Lovett now, Walker makes clear with a chuckle, “He’s no Lyle Lovett.”