Top Ten: Dwight Yoakam

After a friend of mine recently began posting his “top ten” lists of favorite songs by his favorite artists and that got me thinking about my favorites as well. This post is part of a similarly-themed series that I’ll be doing over the next few months.

173643_1_fDwight Yoakam has always been one of my favorite artists. Even in the late 80s, Yoakam’s brand of “hillbilly rock” was well beyond the mainstream Nashville sound. Surprisingly, he found commercial success on his self-financed debut EP, “Guitars, Cadillacs, etc.” From the string of radio hits in the 80s and 90s to his more recent run of critically acclaimed work, I’ve always been a big fan. And it appears I’m in good company. The story goes that someone once asked Johnny Cash to name his favorite country singer. Yoakam was his answer.

With that, I give you my ten favorite Dwight Yoakam songs.

  1. “Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose.” This one, from If There Was A Way, was the song that put Yoakam on the map for me. I still love Pete Anderson’s guitar work on this track.
  2. “You’re The One.” Another stellar cut from If There Was A Way.
  3. “Train In Vain” from Under the Covers. By this point in his career, Dwight had absolutely mastered his “hillbilly country” sound.
  4. “Miner’s Prayer” from Dwight Live.
  5. “It’s Never Alright” from 3 Pears. This 2012 release might go down as his best album from top to bottom.
  6. “Fast As You.”
  7. “If Teardrops Were Diamonds” from Population: Me. This duet with Willie Nelson is Yoakam at his sad-sack best.
  8. “Bury Me” from This is a great set of songs, none better than the lead track.
  9. “Sorry You Asked.” This one cracks me up every time, especially the line about “certain third parties.”
  10. “I Sang Dixie.” Back in the day, I loved Yoakam’s louder, electric songs, but I think he really shines when he tells stories of loneliness. This classic is one of his best.

There’s the list of favorite Yoakam tracks. More to come in this series.

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