Spin - p.1044 stars out of 5
-- "[Yoakam] mixed a folkie wistfulness with fast-moving honky-tonk drive, pushing country ahead a two-step or two."
Q - p.1503 stars out of 5
-- "Dwight Yoakam's debut was a fantastically twangy blend of tears, beers, and blue-collar grit..."
Dirty Linen - p.61
"This is a darn good release for Yoakam fans who really want to get a sense of his output and energy back when he made a name for himself..."
No Depression - p.102
"GUITARS, CADILLACS remains, more than two decades on, a remarkable -- even essential -- record."
GUITARS, CADILLACS, ETC., ETC. is an expanded version of an EP of the same title released on Oak Records in 1984.
Personnel: Dwight Yoakam (vocals, acoustic guitar, background vocals); Maria McKee (vocals); Pete Anderson (electric guitar, 6-string bass); Jay Dee Maness, Ed Black (pedal steel); David Mansfield (mandolin, dobro); Brantley Kearns (fiddle, background vocals); Glen D. Hardin, Gene Taylor (piano); J.D. Foster (bass, background vocals); Jeff Donavan (drums).
Engineers: Dusty Wakeman (tracks 1, 5-6, 10); Brian Levi (tracks 2-4, 7-9).
Recorded at Excalibur Studio, Studio City, California and Capitol Studio B, Hollywood, California.
Personnel: Dwight Yoakam (vocals, acoustic guitar, background vocals); Dwight Yoakam (guitar); Maria McKee (vocals); Jerry McGee (guitar); Pete Anderson (electric guitar, bass guitar, 6-string bass); Jay Dee Maness (steel guitar, pedal steel guitar); Ed Black (steel guitar); Brantley Kearns (fiddle, background vocals); Gene Taylor (piano); Robert Wilson (bass guitar); Stu Perry, Jeff Donavan (drums); J.D. Foster (background vocals); David Mansfield (dobro, mandolin); Glen D. Hardin (piano).
Audio Mixers: Dwight Yoakam; Dusty Wakeman; Pete Anderson.
Recording information: Capitol Recording Studios, Studio B, Hollywood, CA; Excalibur Studios, Studio City, CA.
Photographer: Otto Felix.
Arrangers: Dwight Yoakam; Pete Anderson.
Just as Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson had done a decade-plus earlier, Dwight Yoakam arrived out of left field in the mid '80s with a fresh, honest sound that breathed fresh air into what had become a bland, commercialized country music scene. The later-for-the-b.s. New Traditionalist movement had already gotten under way via such artists as Rosanne Cash and John Anderson, but Yoakam hammered the message home in a major way, appealing to the pop/rock audience with his swaggering, bad-boy image and visceral approach.
GUITARS, CADILLACS, ETC., ETC. set the template Yoakam would follow for much of his career. The album is heavily influenced by the mid-'60s Bakersfield sound of Merle Haggard and (especially) Buck Owens. Some of the songs here are updated versions of old-school country classics (Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," Johnny Horton's "Honky Tonk Man"), but even Yoakam's original tunes sound like they were cut from the same vintage cloth.