Tomorrow’s Sounds Today
Remember the last time country music was in the dumper, back in the mid-’80s? Randy Travis gets credited with igniting the new-traditionalist revival that made a New York Times obituary of Nashville look premature. But it was Dwight Yoakam’s Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.—originally released by an obscure indie label as a six-song EP, then fleshed out into a 10-song album by Reprise—that really lit the fuse. If country music is back in the triage room these days, Yoakam’s new disc is here with the jumper cables to show how it’s done right. Again, producer/guitarist Pete Anderson fashions a glossy, high-tech approximation of that classic Capitol Records Bakersfield sound, and Yoakam has come up with 11 excellent originals, one of them penned with mentor Buck Owens (who teams with Yoakam on two bonus cuts). Even a surprising cover of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” works. Cool record.