Review: Talkative Dwight Yoakam walks through St. Pete’s catchy show, praises Florida to ‘come to life’ and live music | Music News | Tampa

Click to enlarge

Kamran Malik

Dwight Yoakam performs at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 5, 2017.

Donning his low-rise cowboy hat and skinny blue jeans with frayed cuffs, country music superstar Dwight Yoakam lit up the stage at Clearwater’s lavish Ruth Eckerd Hall on Thursday night. Sporting a cool denim jacket encrusted with sparkling rhinestones on the back, the veteran honky tonk singer (and part-time actor) brought along his superb band of four to help him through his barrage of success and a few well-chosen covers. , too much.

Taking the stage with no introduction or fanfare, Yoakam and his crew immediately launched into a rousing cover of The Carter Family’s “Keep on the Sunny Side” and immediately set the tone for the rest of the long night of music. Without missing a single beat or uttering a single word, Yoakam went through four numbers before hitting the air. Included in the non-stop explosion was her razor-sharp version of “Little Sister,” a song popularized by Elvis Presley in 1961 as well as Yoakam’s scintillating slice of light tex-mex fare, “Streets of Bakersfield.” This song, originally recorded in the 1970s by fellow country music legend Buck Owens, was a hit for Yoakam in 1998 when he recorded it as a duet. That night, Yoakam did all the vocals himself and, alongside snazzy accordion work from multi-instrumentalist Brian Whelan, the number served as a precursor to the evening’s highlight.

Shaking his legs while strumming his guitar, Yoakam was in peak physical and vocal shape and ready to turn it into a solid night of his own brand of honky tonk rock and roll. His silence between songs was broken, however, when he delivered a heartfelt reflection on his joy at returning to the stage after a long absence due to the pandemic. Indicating his joy at “performing live music for a live audience”, Yoakam applauded our home state for “leading the way” for the country and “coming back to life”, no doubt his way of offering support for Florida’s wavering dedication to mask mandates. and his reluctance to enter confinement. Although his speech was a bit indistinguishable, the singer nonetheless garnered a handful of rounds of applause from the nearly sold-out room.

Other drifts in between-song dialogue included warm praise for late country great Merle Haggard (before delving into Haggard’s catalog for a few numbers) and a hilarious account of a conversation with fellow legend, Willie Nelson. The anecdotes added color to the show and showed off Yoakam’s often low-key personality. The momentum was lost, however, when the singer immersed himself in a long and very detailed account of his early days as a budding musician in Los Angeles and his trials and tribulations while playing the club circuit during those years. lean cows. What could have been a fond, brief and succinct reminiscence turned into a long, somewhat tedious chronicle and turned into constant, spoken interruptions during his performance of his 1989 top 10 hit, “I Got You.” Yoakam even came out of himself for a moment and acknowledged his own chatter: “I was often criticized for not speaking during my shows, but now I’m a talkative idiot,” he joked.

Delving into his arsenal of bonafide hits and ditching the spiels, Yoakam delivered faithful versions of the ballads “Ain’t That Lonely Yet” and “You’re the One” alongside barnburners “Little Ways and Guitars, Cadillacs ” and did so with his signature style and subtle freshness. Lead guitarist Eugene Edwards did a lot to infuse a lot of flash into the performance; between his shimmering sequined jacket and his luscious guitar work, he stood out hugely and single-handedly generated an audible crowd endorsement. Making a few distinct references and marveling at the recently released Beatles documentary “Get Back”, Yoakam briefly burst into The Fab Four’s “I Got a Feeling” before serving up his encore – a superb cover of another popularized song. by Elvis Presley, “Suspicious Minds.”

The two-hour show reminded local fans of the incredible number of country music hits Yoakam has racked up since releasing his debut album in 1986. His choice of songs to cover is always thoughtful and well-matched, and the that night proved his talent for selecting the right songs to adopt and introduce into his performances. Yoakam’s show soared when it stuck to its extensive catalog of beautiful songwriting and thoughtful covers, but seemed to lag a bit during its gossip adventures. Nonetheless, Yoakam has more than proven that he’s still one of the best and most enduring country music artists to emerge since bursting onto the scene in the mid-’80s and his unwillingness to bend or conform to any trend or fad and this is the real reason why his devotees always strongly support him.

set list
Stay on the sunny side
Please, please baby
Little sister
The streets of Bakerfield
The bottle let me down
Swing doors
Against the wall, redneck mother
Muskogee Okie
I got you
I will be gone
Blame the vain
You are the only one

Comments are closed.