Dwight Yoakam - Hillbilly Deluxe
With his second album release, Dwight was ready to get out and prove himself as a real force to
be reckoned with in the music biz. With a handful of self-penned songs and a few widely
diverse covers, Dwight was prepared to show that his success as a "Honky-Tonk Man" was no accident, and he well deserved the "Best New Male Artist" that the ACM had presented him the
While openly a student of Buck Owens' Bakersfield sound, this album is much more closely
related to Dwight's Appalachian Kentucky roots, with poignant songs like "Johnson's Love" and the ode to the Kentucky coal mining family, "Readin', Rightin', Rt. 23." But from this album are standards that Dwight continues to perform today, such as "Little Ways" and, of course, "Little Sister," which Dwight growls with more gusto than even the King had a few decades before.
Dwight had come into his own style with this album; the icons on the cover still decorate his
tour bus today, and the Manuel jacket he sports in the photos set the tone for the neo-
traditionalist of the late 80's/early 90's. The photograph on the back of the disc was used for the cover of Dwight's lyric book, "Twelve Years of Words." While future releases would produce more acclaim for Dwight, and "Guitars, Cadillacs" would remain the first, "Hillbilly Deluxe" stands as a cornerstone of a magnificent career, and a wonderful collection of real country music from a Kentucky hillbilly.
Reviewed by Kathy Coleman.