Dwight Yoakam – Hillbilly Deluxe

ARTIST: Dwight Yoakam DwightYoakamHillbillyDeluxe

TITLE:  Hillbilly Deluxe

YEAR RELEASED: 1987

CHART ACTION: #55 US, #1 US Country, #51 UK

SINGLES: Little Sister (#7 US Country), Little Ways (#8 US Country), Please, Please Baby (#6 US Country), Always Late with Your Kisses (#9 US Country)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: None unless you have this.

LINEUP: Dwight Yoakam, Pete Anderson, Tom Brumley, Greg Leisz, JD Foster, Jeff Donavan, Brantley Kearns, Skip Edwards.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second release finds Yoakam channeling Buck Owens more and more, and comes up with a set of songs almost as strong as his debut smash.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Two things stand out in this album – how Yoakam can own a cover song, such as “Little Sister”, and how much he reveres Buck Owens (“Little Ways” especially).

Most of the Yoakam originals are pretty strong, especially the side closers talking about the coal miners of Kentucky (“Readin’, Rightin’, Rt. 23”) and the standard country boozing song “This Drinkin’ Will Kill Me”.  The production is just as strong, and adding Brumley on pedal steel is genius AND also reinforces the connection to Owens.

Yoakam’s career started out strong with this album. While it’s not as essential as his debut, it’s good in its own right.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: More on Brumley: He not only was a Buckaroo from 1963-1969, he then was with Rick Nelson for ten years as his steel player.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: A-: A fine collection of country songs for those who are anti-slick-Nashville sound.

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