Like Steve Earle, I first heard of Dwight Yoakam via a mid-eighties BBC documentary on what was then being called “New Country." I listened to a lot of the artists I discovered on that program — T. Graham Brown and The O’Kanes are two that spring to mind — but the only two I’m still listening to are Earle and Yoakam.
I’ve seen Steve Earle on a couple of occasions but Dwight has always eluded me, so this DVD was my first experience of seeing him performing live. I wasn’t disappointed. From the minute Dwight strides on stage in full country gear, from Stetson hat down to cowboy boots, this DVD was a delight, and it's made me even more eager to see him in the flesh.
Unlike the Earle gig in the same series, Yoakam takes time to chat with the audience, treating them to his (pretty awful) Johnny Cash impression as he reminisces about meeting the legend, before launching into a cover of "Home Of The Blues." He also regales them with his views on why woman are the stronger sex by way of introduction to "Little Ways."
The concert gets progressively better and by the time he introduces a couple of special guests, Flaco Jimenez on accordion and Buck Owens on vocals and guitar, for his number one hit "Streets of Bakersfield," the band and crowd are on a high. Owens was a big influence on Dwight and he's obviously enjoying the chance to play with his idol.
Things get even better with "Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room (She Wore Red Dresses)," a classic song that combines a couple of perennial country music favorites – a cheating woman and a six-gun. Jimenez stays on for this song and there’s a wonderful accordion/guitar “duel” with Pete Anderson.