It was only a matter of time until I turned to classic country for my Random Reflections. I love lots of older artists and songs, so I’m extremely excited to be able to talk about them here. Today, I thought I’d feature one of my top favorites, Dwight Yoakam’s debut album, Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.
Release Date: 1986
Style: Traditional Country
People Who Might Like this Album: Fans of fiddle and traditional country with faster tempos
Standout Tracks: “Honky Tonk Man,” “South Of Cincinnati,” “Guitars, Cadillacs,” “Miner’s Prayer”
The opening guitar of “Honky Tonk Man” is some of the catchiest I’ve ever heard. It immediately gets you in the mood for the faster tempo of the song. It’s about a man who constantly hangs out in the bar, only to want to go back home when he’s out of money. In addition to fun songs, there’s the classic “South of Cincinnati”. This is one of Dwight Yoakam’s best songs in my opinion. It tells the tale of a woman who writes letters to her ex saying that if he ever returns south of Cincinnati, she’d go back to being with him. The thing that makes this a classic is that she writes these letters for fourteen years and puts them in her Bible, never sending them. Then, you have the title track. It’s a deceptively upbeat song wherein he sings “guitars, Cadillacs, hillbilly music, is the only thing that keeps me hanging on”. I love it because it’s fun, but there’s also the emotion behind it, as the girl he loved ruined his naivety, and now he’s hanging on to what he knows. Lastly, there’s “Miner’s Prayer”. Dwight Yoakam is from Kentucky, so the fact that he did a song about a miner wanting to escape the mine was no surprise. However, I do love this song with its banjo and Dwight’s expressive vocals.
This album is still one of my favorites from Dwight Yoakam. He still plays many of these songs live today, and they have become some of his biggest hits. There are a few fiddle solos on this album too, and I love them. If you have never heard of or checked out Dwight Yoakam’s music, there’s no place to begin like the beginning.