Texas singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett's retrospective compilation, "Anthology, Vol. 1: Cowboy Man," which Curb/MCA releases Oct. 23, assembles 13 country songs from his first three albums: "Lyle Lovett,

Seventeen years after he brought a rough demo to Nashville, Lyle Lovett is returning to the country genre that first propelled him to stardom.

The Texas singer/songwriter's retrospective compilation, "Anthology, Vol. 1: Cowboy Man," which Curb/MCA releases Oct. 23, assembles 13 country songs from his first three albums: "Lyle Lovett," from 1986; "Pontiac," from 1987; and "Lyle Lovett and His Large Band," from 1989. Two recently recorded originals, the Texas shuffle "The Truck Song" and the Western swing "San Antonio Girl," are also included.

"I had in mind for [those songs] to be part of my next album, which I hope to start by the end of the year," says Lovett, whose later albums have cultivated a broader aesthetic and audience. "But [MCA Nashville president] Tony Brown wanted to include a couple of new songs [in the anthology]."

Brown signed Lovett to the label and produced those first three albums, as well as the two new songs. "When he first called and asked if I was interested in doing an anthology-type project, I said to myself, 'Am I that old?'" Lovett says. "Then I realized I probably am, since my first record was 15 years ago."

But what really stoked Lovett's desire, he notes, was his enduring relationship with Brown. "He has been so good to me and was such a fundamental part of my early career," Lovett says. "The chance to be in the studio with him again made it feel like a family reunion."