Category: Dwight Yoakam

Dwight Yoakam – Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room

ARTIST: Dwight Yoakam             220px-BuenasNochesFromaLonelyRoomalbumcover

TITLE:  Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room

YEAR RELEASED: 1988

CHART ACTION: #68 US, #1 Country, #87 UK

SINGLES: Streets of Bakersfield (#1 Country), I Sang Dixie (#1 Country), I Got You (#5 Country), Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room (#46 Country)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: He covered Home of the Blues and I Hear You Knockin’

LINEUP: Dwight Yoakam, Pete Anderson, Tom Brumley, Al Perkins, Taras Prodaniuk, Dusty Wakeman, Jeff Donovan, Don Reed, Skip Edwards, Scott Joss, Flaco Jiminez. He duets with Maria McKee and Buck Owens as well.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Yoakam’s third album has more variety than his first two, and is still a fine Bakersfield sound country record.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: By this time, Dwight Yoakam’s neo-Bakersfield sound was cemented in his persona and in the minds of country music fans. It made total sense to cover a Buck Owens song, and even more sense for Buck himself to duet with Yoakam on it.

Yoakam adds a bit more of the variety that was in the Bakersfield sound in the title cut, with Flaco Jiminez on accordion. The best track, “I Got You” is a poor man’s lament with some clever descriptive lyrics on how in debt he is.

A few of the deep cuts aren’t as rich as his first two albums, but I’d rather have this record than most of the country-rock hybirds that are out there now (and then).

NOTES & MINUTIAE: His duet with Maria McKee, “Send Me the Pillow” is a cover of a Hank Locklin tune.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: A-: The first three Dwight Yoakam’ albums are a must for any fan of real country music.

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.

Dwight Yoakam – Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.

ARTIST: Dwight Yoakam DwightYoakamGuitarsCadillacs

TITLE:  Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.

YEAR RELEASED: 1986

CHART ACTION: #61, #1 Country

SINGLES: Honky Tonk Man (#3 Country), Guitars, Cadillacs (#1 Country), It Won’t Hurt (#31 County)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: He covers Ring of Fire and Heartaches by the Number

LINEUP: Dwight Yoakam, Pete Anderson, JD Foster, Jeff Donavan, Brantley Kearns, Jay Dee Maness, Ed Black, David Mansfield, Gene Taylor, Glen D. Hardin

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Young country singer and writer records a ‘throwback’ album that emulates but also updates, the 60’s Bakersfield honky tonk sound.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Mainstream country music in the 80’s was just as empty and soulless as it is today. (Maybe it’s been that way since the 70’s?) Instead of the pop-country that was selling record execs, Yoakam went west to the LA / Bakersfield area successfully mined by his idol, Buck Owens.

His authentic singing and writing won him many fans out there – and not just country music fans. You can tell in this collection, expanded from his self-financed EP. He’s a great interpreter (“Honky Tonk Man”), but also an excellent writer. Plus, his singing is evocative, emotional and effective. His duet with Maria McKee on “Bury Me” is a highlight of the entire album.

Yoakam’s career took off after this album – proving that people want authentic, well-written music no matter what genre. It’s a lesson not learned in many music label offices.

NOTES & MINUTAE: His EP was self-financed, and won him a contract. Instead of re-recording it, he just used his EP cuts to supplement the album. It was a wise move.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION:  Yes, with demos and a 1986 live set.

GRADE: A: It’s a short (10-track) album that doesn’t have a true miss and several songs that should have been classics had Nashville embraced him like they should have.