Dwight Yoakam

Live from Austin TX

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The man who brought the Bakersfield sound back to the country charts, Dwight Yoakam, was on the road supporting his third album (and one of his best), 1988's Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room, when he and his band made a stop in Austin, Texas to appear on one of television's best showcases for quality roots music, PBS' Austin City Limits. Yoakam was at once a staunch traditionalist and a nervy Young Turk when he played his ACL gig, and both sides shine through in the performance, which has been issued on compact disc as Live from Austin TX. Yoakam and his band (including guitarist Pete Anderson) burn though these songs with plenty of spark, and demonstrate that the best sort of respect to show this music is to play it with the same swagger and confidence that Buck Owens, Johnny Horton, and Merle Haggard showed back in the day. While Yoakam is still doing that today, there's something fresh and emphatic here that shines brighter than on some of his later work, and if this disc isn't as ambitious as the later Dwight Live, on its own modest terms it's the more satisfying listen. Added value: Buck Owens and Flaco Jimenez stop by to re-create their cameo spots on "Streets of Bakersfield," with Owens in particularly feisty form.

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