Guitars, Cadillacs and Sad, Sad Music


If Kayne West and Billy Joel can grace the Imaginary Compilation Album pages I might just about be able to get away with sneaking in a bit of Country.

Do not be put of by the picture of a Man in a Hat – there are hundreds of awful Men in Hats in Country Music. Dwight Yoakam isn’t one of them. I suspect that one of the main reasons he sported a hat was due to his fast receding hair line and there are even pictures out there of him with a Bobby Charltonesque sweep over.

From the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s when most of you were enjoying the great indie music which features on this blog I was pretty much immersed in the flourishing American movement listening to the likes of Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, the Jayhawks and of course Dwight

The majority of this ICA is taken primarily from his first four albums from between 1986 and 1990 when to me he was just about the best artist on the planet. I wouldn’t bother exploring anything after 1993’s This Time as thereafter he faded as badly as Hibs title challenge

Side 1

Track 1 – Honky Tonk Man (from Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc, Etc 1986)

We begin and end with a cover. As soon as you here the first chords of his version of this Johnny Horton classic you just know that you are in for something special

Track 2 – If There Was a Way (from the album of the same name 1990)

The first, but certainly not the last, of the sad songs. Dwight is just standing, alone in this room, surrounded by memories wondering if he can win his love back. Being a Country song, no is the obvious answer

Track 3 – South of Cincinnati (from Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc, Etc 1986)

I’m a sucker for road songs and this is one of many which makes me want to explore the Southern states in some detail

At a cold gray apartment in Chicago, a cigarette drowns inside a glass of gin is up there with the best lines in Country music

Track 4 – It Wont Hurt (from Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc, Etc 1986)

The last number from Guitar, Cadillacs and yet again lost love and strong alcohol are involved

Track 5 –Carmelita (from Flaco Jiminez’ album Partners 1992)

The mighty Flaco Jiminez played accordion on many of Dwight’s greatest somgs and therefore it is only fitting that Dwight return the favour by featuring on Flaco’s album Partners.

I have several versions of Carmelita including the Warren Zevon original but none can hold a candle to Dwight’s version.

Side 2

Track 1 – Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room (She Wore Red Dresses) (from Buenas Noches From a Lonely Room 1998)

Quite simply Dwight’s best song from his third and indeed best album Buenas Noches

She wore red dresses and told such sweet lies

Track 2 – Readin’ Rightin’ Rt 23 (from Hillbilly Deluxe 1987)

The only track I’m featuring the second album

A song highlighting that worldwide issue of folk leaving the country and heading to the city in search of work and longing to get back home

Track 3 – Two Doors Down (from This Time 1993)

It Won’t Hurt updated

Track 4 – Sad Sad Music (from If There Was a Way 1990)

She’s left him again. No drink involved this time just sad, sad music

Track 5 Streets of Bakersfield ( from Buenas Noches From a Lonely Room 1998)

Despite the subject matter an upbeat number to finish of with as Dwight’s version of a Homer Joy song recreates the Bakersfield Sound which sprung up around Bakersfield, California in the 1950’s as a reaction to the slickly produced string orchestra laden Nashville sound. The main protagonists were the sadly recently departed Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Buck very kindly lends a hand

I hope this helps to convert some non -believers


mp3 : Dwight Yoakam – Honky Tonk Man
mp3 : Dwight Yoakam – If There Was A Way
mp3 : Dwight Yoakam – South of Cincinatti
mp3 : Dwight Yoakam – It Won’t Hurt
mp3 : Flaco Jiminez /Dwight Yoakam – Carmelita

mp3 : Dwight Yoakam – Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room (She Wore Red Dresses)
mp3 : Dwight Yoakam – Readin’ Rightin’ Rt 23
mp3 : Dwight Yoakam – Two Doors Down
mp3 : Dwight Yoakam – Sad Sad Music
mp3 : Dwight Yoakam – Streets of Bakersfield

JC adds…..

And this, dear friends, is why I love this blogging lark.  A great introduction to someone who is a legend in his field but whom I have to admit I own nothing,  Cheers CC.


  1. “At a cold gray apartment in Chicago, a cigarette drowns inside a glass of gin”
    continues “he lies there drunk, but it don’t matter, drunk or sober, she’ll never read the words that pride won’t let him send” is the 2nd finest lyric in the entirety of country music. You really should download these tracks CC has given you.

  2. Thanks for this. Have wanted to listen to Dwight for s long time but have a massive backlog of stuff I’ve acquired but haven’t had time to listen to yet. This will be just the right length for an introduction.

  3. Well done, CC. Country is sometimes out of my comfort zone, but there has always been something about that Bakersfield Sound. Dwight has had some pretty interesting appearances on screen too.

  4. Ah, the Dwight. It continues to surprise me just how little known Mr Yoakam is out with country/alt. country circles – despite the obvious cross over into, ahem, pop. I have long been a fan and stumble as I did upon this ICA (sad to say I don’t get the opportunity to catch everything that is posted within NVV) made for a most enjoyable Friday night’s listen (I replicated the ICA with my vinyl – magic). The ICA confirms to me just how amazing Mr Yoakam actually is and reminds me that I should play his music more. much more.

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