He's a hardcore Texan, but Lyle Lovett has a soft spot for Minnesota

He's played here nearly every year for two-decades-plus. But this year, we get him virtually.

Watch: Lyle Lovett's virtual concert continues tradition of performing in Minnesota
Star Tribune
Video (13:40) Click above to see Lyle Lovett's special performance for the Star Tribune State Fair.

It's hard to imagine a year without a Lyle Lovett performance in the Twin Cities. Since 2000, he's done 23 concerts here — but not this year.

Sometimes the road warrior has performed here with His Large Band or his smaller acoustic combo. He's done several gigs swapping songs with his buddy John Hiatt. In 2002, he shared the State Fair grandstand stage with Bonnie Raitt, duetting on "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man."

During the pandemic, Lovett has been hunkered down at his family farm outside of Houston. His mother is in her early 90s. He hasn't gone out much, though he participated in livestreams with Shawn Colvin and John Hiatt, and appeared in two episodes of CBS' "Blue Bloods" in February, playing a Texas Ranger who gives his cowboy hat to Donnie Wahlberg's city-slicker detective.

The singer-songwriter, whose music blends more flavors than Ben & Jerry's, hasn't released an album since 2012, but he signed with Verve Records last year and said he's 90% done with his next album.