July 31, 2021

“Guitars, cadillacs, etc., etc.”, de Dwight Yoakam

“An unbeatable debut for a totally unrepeatable artist”

Eduardo Izquierdo rewinds to 1986 to retrieve the record debut of Dwight Yoakam, a Kentucky musician (and actor, and director) who helped modernize the country genre by bringing it closer to rock.

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Dwight Yoakam
“Guitars, cadillacs, etc., etc.”
REPRISE, 1986

Text: EDUARDO IZQUIERDO.

Thirty years are about to go by since one of the most trusted names in country music of our time, Dwight Yoakam, made his record debut. Someone who, incidentally, modernized the genre by bringing it closer to rock without losing any of its hallmarks.

Born in Kentucky in 1956, Yoakam began his musical career as a honky tonk singer at Los Angeles gambling dens in the early 1980s. That allowed him to relate to people like The Blasters, Los Lobos or John Doe’s X’s. The direct consequence of those companies was the desire to revitalize a genre that he loved but considered outdated, and his first step was the splendid “Guitars, Cadillacs, etc., etc.” An album that took him headlong to number one on the country charts, also casting his first single, ‘Honky Tonk Man’ at number three. In months, the Kentucky man went from being a stranger to a true superstar, a position he has not abandoned to this day.

Produced by Pete Anderson, who is also in charge of playing electric guitar and performing backing vocals, the album combines Yoakam’s own songs that will soon become classics of his career such as ‘South of Cincinnati’ or a ‘Bury me’, in which he collaborates Maria McKee with carefully chosen versions.

The gallery concession in the form of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of fire’ is perfectly complemented by the aforementioned ‘Honky tonk man’, original by Johnny Horton, and ‘Heartaches by the number’ by Halan Howard, popular on vocals. George Jones in the sixties. Although it was curiously the song that gives the album its title that has ended up imposing itself as a classic, since Rolling Stone considered it in 2004 one of the hundred best country songs of all time. In short, an unbeatable debut for a totally unrepeatable artist.

Previous Rescue Operation: “Back in the USA”, by MC5.