Q - 7/93, p.1153 Stars
- Good - "...Kentucky-born Dwight Yoakam is still the best PR man that Buck Owens never had...[the album] established him not only as the man with the immovable hat but as a genuine country singer with the potential to cross into the rock arena..."
Personnel includes: Dwight Yoakam (vocals, acoustic guitar); Pete Anderson (electric guitar, bass); Greg Leisz (lap steel guitar); Tom Brumley (pedal steel guitar); Brantley Kearns (fiddle, background vocals); Skip Edwards (piano); J.D. Foster (bass); Jeff Donovan (drums); Herb Pedersen, Dusty Wakeman (background vocals).
This follow-up to Yoakam's sensational debut GUITARS, CADILLACS... is an equally compelling dose of his straight-ahead, irresistible Bakersfield country. In the mould of his heroes Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, Yoakam works a no-frills, traditional honky tonk sound, yet brings to the form a touch of twang guitar rockabilly and his own spin on convention. Yoakam's stripped down aesthetic, wiry guitar leads, and laid-back but stylized vocals (not to mention back-ups that occasionally sound like they're sung with tongue in cheek) hint that the singer likes to tweak the sacred cow of country, even as he rides it.
The album includes four hit singles: "Please, Please Baby," a cover of Lefty Frizell's "Always Late (With Your Kisses), the true blue honky tonk gem "Little Ways," and a superlative, country-rockified reading of Elvis Presley's "Little Sister." Though these are more than enough to carry the record, the remaining tracks, including the cowboy boogie of "Smoke Along the Track" and country ballads like "Johnson's Love" (complete with weeping steel guitar, of course), round out the package nicely. An excellent sophomore installment from one of contemporary country music's brightest lights.