Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Americana Fest: Dwight Yoakam Delights Crowd at Mercy Lounge

By Wil Comstock
MCAU Contributing Writer

Dwight Yoakam, 11 p.m. Sept. 21 at Mercy Lounge

            By the time this show started, I had stood for five hours. Four hours at the AMA’s closed  circuit viewing at The Family Wash and one hour during Green River Ordinance’s performance. It was worth it!  It was my birthday, and staying up late and seeing Dwight was my present to myself!   

            Yoakam grew up listening to Bluegrass. "Being born in Pikeville, Kentucky, it's been inevitable from the beginning of my career - from the beginning of my life - that I would end up making a bluegrass record" he told Billboard magazine.  Dwight recently recorded eleven of his deep catalog songs with bluegrass arrangements for his new album “Swimmin' Pools, Movie Stars...” a reference to the Beverly Hillbillies theme song. Producers Gary Paczosa and Jon Randall rounded up some of the best pickers in town for this project.  Bryan Sutton on guitar, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Barry Bales on bass, Adam Steffey on mandolin, and banjo player Scott Vestal. These are the players, plus Jon Randall, that came out to back Dwight for this show! Chris Lord Alge, who mixed the album, insisted on coming out to do sound!  

            They played through the whole album, delighting the crowd and giving me goose bumps on numbers like “What I Don’t Know”,  “These Arms”, Two Doors Down”, “Guitars, Cadillacs” and  “Please, Please Baby”. These songs were made for Bluegrass! The delivery was impeccable. Dwight joked that he was the only one on stage making mistakes. Yoakam finished with the tender “Gone (That’ll Be Me)”. Coming  back for an encore, on a somber note, Yoakam said that while they were recording, they got word one morning that Prince had died.  Dwight explained that the love of music crosses all genres. He asked the band that morning if they could play a Prince song. While the tape was rolling, they went into “Purple Rain”, never intending for it to end up on the album. This is the song they closed with and the last song on Yoakam’s new album.   


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