Second Hand Heart
Dwight Yoakam has been releasing albums since 1986, selling millions of albums over the years. He has the respect of both contemporary artists and seasoned veterans, and has always inhabited a space all his own. His territory encompasses rockabilly, Brit-invasion and much more – there’s nobody quite like him.
It’s always been cool to like Dwight. Unfortunately ‘Bro-Country’ seems to have a hold on the spotlight right now. That’s a shame, because Dwight — now 57 years old — still brings it as well as he ever did, and arguably even better at times. He may not be playing the big venues that he once did, but theater shows are much more satisfying for the fans and he’s OK with where he’s at now.
Most country music radio fodder nowadays is about drinking beer, riding around in a truck, and chasing girls. That’s all OK if that’s all you are doing. In contrast, Dwight’s songs are about more meaningful grown-up subjects and real relationships — things that can only be learned through experience and a broken heart or two. Dwight Yoakam certainly has more to offer than much of what now passes for “country music” nowadays, and he is way up at the front of the line among those who will be a recipient of the torch when it’s passed from the old guard like Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson.
Despite him now being on the AARP mailing list, Dwight’s energy and enthusiasm has not diminished one bit. This is as strong an offering as he has ever made. “Liar” is a boisterous rave-up and one of my favorite cuts on this album. Dwight also does (what is now) my favorite cover of “Man of Constant Sorrow”. Although he rocks it, hints of Ralph Stanley still come through.
The band on this record is also his touring band and they are a quite impressive three-guitar outfit. This self-produced album was recorded in between tour stops, which gives it a certain organic and immediate quality with much residual energy to please old fans and new.
Pro Tip: Target is offering this CD with three bonus cuts if you collect them all.
Dwight Yoakam: www.dwightyoakam.com