Tag Archives: Dwight Yoakam

Daily Top Five: Most Essential Albums

Reba McEntire For My Broken HeartSuggested by longtime reader and commenter  Jonathan Pappalardo:

What are the five most essential albums in your collection?

I love this question!
Here’s my list:

  1. Dixie Chicks, Home
  2. Reba McEntire, For My Broken Heart
  3. Patty Loveless, When Fallen Angels Fly
  4. Trisha Yearwood, Hearts in Armor
  5. Linda Ronstadt, Heart Like a Wheel

Was going to try to do some equal opportunity attempt and squeeze in an album by a male act.  But even without repeating artists, the next seven or eight would still be female artists.

So here are my five most essential albums by male artists, for the record

  1. Johnny Cash, American III: Solitary Man
  2. Dwight Yoakam, Gone
  3. Todd Snider, The Devil You Know
  4. Willie Nelson, Phases and Stages
  5. Alan Jackson, Like Red on a Rose

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Daily Top Five: Train Songs

Clint Black The Hard WaySuggested by longtime reader Erik North:

What are your top five train songs?

Here’s my list:

  1. Rosanne Cash, “Runaway Train”
  2. Pam Tillis, “Train Without a Whistle”
  3. Dwight Yoakam, “Train in Vain”
  4. Whiskey Falls, “Last Train Running”
  5. Clint Black, “There Never Was a Train”

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Daily Double Top Five: Best & Worst Cover Songs

Johnny Cash American RecordingsAgain, we play catch up with a daily double top five, and this one focuses on cover songs.

So many great songs have been re-recorded over time.  Sometimes the new versions are so good that you discover something new about the original.  Other times, the new takes are so bad that you just wish they’d left well enough alone.

So today we ask: What do you think are the best and the worst cover songs?

For my five best, I’m picking versions that I enjoyed so much more than the originals that I rarely listen to the first versions anymore.  But you don’t have to do that!

Original artists are in parentheses after each pick.

Five Best Cover Songs

  1. Emmylou Harris, “The Boxer” (Simon & Garfunkel)
  2. Johnny Cash, “Why Me Lord”  (Kris Kristofferson)
  3. Reba McEntire, “Sweet Music Man” (Kenny Rogers)
  4. Alison Krauss, “Ghost in This House” (Shenandoah)
  5. Dwight Yoakam, “Wichita Lineman” (Glen Campbell)

Five Worst Cover Songs

  1. David Kersh, “Wonderful Tonight” (Eric Clapton)
  2. Brooks & Dunn, “Missing You” (John Waite)
  3. Rascal Flatts, “Revolution” (The Beatles)
  4. Gretchen Peters, “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (Johnny Cash)
  5. Willie Nelson, “Time After Time” (Cyndi Lauper)

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Daily Top Five: Dwight Yoakam

Dwight YoakamThose of you enjoying Dwight Yoakam’s new album, Second Hand Heart, have probably been fans for a long time!

Today, we’re sharing are top five albums and tracks for the legendary singer.  Tomorrow, we’ll tackle the other legend who street dated this week.

Here are my top fives:

Albums

  1. Gone
  2. Under the Covers
  3. This Time
  4. If There was a Way
  5. Tomorrow’s Sounds Today

Tracks

  1. Things Change
  2. The Back of Your Hand
  3. Guitars, Cadillacs
  4. Ain’t That Lonely Yet
  5. Nothing

How about you?

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Daily Top Five: Most Recent Purchases

Dwight Yoakam Second Hand HeartToday’s a fairly big release day for long time country music fans, as two legends release sets today:  Reba McEntire, who returns after five years with Love Somebody, and Dwight Yoakam, who is back with Second Hand Heart, which is only his second album of new material in the last ten years.

We’ve already review the lead Reba single and lead Dwight single.  We’ll have reviews up of both albums at a later date, but they influenced today’s Daily Top Five:  What are your most recent purchases?

I’m still an albums guy, so I’m going to list my most recent five albums purchased, but feel free to list tracks instead, if you’re more the a la carte type.

My five most recent (country) album purchases are:

  1. Shelby Lynne, Temptation
  2. Shania Twain, Still the One: Live From Vegas
  3. Rhiannon Giddens, Tomorrow is My Turn
  4. Punch Brothers, The Phosphorescent Blues
  5. Jason Isbell, Sirens of the Ditch

You can read the CU reviews of Giddens here, and Punch Brothers here, and there’s a good chance you’ll be reading about the Lynne set when we finish our 1993 lists.  Also, a great Starter Kit for Jason Isbell can be read here.  (Start with Southeastern, if you don’t have it already, before moving on to Sirens and the rest of his catalog.  You should have all of his catalog.  He’s that good.)

What are your five latest country purchases?

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Daily Top Five: First Favorites

kenny-rogers-gamblerToday, we kick off a new feature: Daily Top Five.  Every day, one of our writers will post their top five picks for a given category, and invite readers to share their own lists in the comments.   This idea was ripped off from inspired by the film Top Five.

Since this is the first entry, today’s topic is First Favorites – your top five songs that got you into country music.

For me:

  1. John Anderson, “Straight Tequila Night”
  2. Reba McEntire, “For My Broken Heart”
  3. Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler”
  4. Pam Tillis, “Maybe it Was Memphis”
  5. Dwight Yoakam, “It Only Hurts When I Cry”

What’s your top five?

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Single Review: Eric Church, “Like a Wrecking Ball”

Eric Church Like a Wrecking Ball

“Like a Wrecking Ball”
Eric Church

Written by Casey Beathard and Eric Church

This is a bold single choice. “Like a Wrecking Ball” sounds like nothing on the radio today. Irregular rhythms, a vocal sung out of the corner of his mouth, and a lyric that makes every other love song out there sound like child’s play.

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Single Review: Dwight Yoakam, “Second Hand Heart”

Dwight Yoakam Second Hand Heart

“Second Hand Heart”
Dwight Yoakam

Written by Dwight Yoakam

Easily his strongest single since “The Back of Your Hand”,  Dwight Yoakam is at his best on his new release, “Second Hand Heart.”

Returning to the weathered heartache territory that he does better than anyone else, “Second Hand Heart” captivates from its opening line: “She said, ‘When I trusted love, I dreamed in color, too.'”   Eight words out of her mouth and she’s a fully realized character, the mirror image of Yoakam’s protagonist, who recognizes a kindred spirit underneath all of that weariness on the surface.

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2015 Grammy Awards: Open Thread

57th Grammy AwardsTelecast Winners:

Best Country Album: Miranda Lambert, Platinum

Album of the Year: Beck, Morning Phase

Best New Artist: Sam Smith

Record of the Year:  Sam Smith, “Stay With Me (Darkside Version)”

Song of the Year: “Stay With Me” – James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith

Pre-Telecast Winners:

Best Country Solo Performance: Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance: The Band Perry, “Gentle on My Mind”

Best Country Song: “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” – Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond

Best American Roots Performance: Rosanne Cash, “A Feather’s Not a Bird”

Best American Roots Song: “A Feather’s Not a Bird” – Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal

Best Americana Album: Rosanne Cash, The River & the Thread

Best Folk Album: Old Crow Medicine Show, Remedy

Best Bluegrass Album:  The Earls of Leicester, The Earls of of Leicester

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: Chris Thile & Edgar Meyer, Bass & Mandolin

Best Historical Album: Hank Williams, The Garden Spot Programs, 1950

 

 

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2015 Grammy Awards: Predictions & Personal Picks

57th Grammy AwardsThis year’s Grammy Awards air on Sunday, February 8, and country music will be represented with performances Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, and the tantalizing pairing of Brandy Clark and Dwight Yoakam.   Most of the awards will be handed out before the show, and we will post the relevant winners here, as part of a Grammy Open Thread where CU readers and writers can share their thoughts on this year’s awards.

Four CU writers, including myself, have shared our predictions and personal picks for the general and country-related categories below.  Of course, one of the coolest things about the Grammys is that it celebrates a wide range of music from the past year, and as you’ll see by our varying levels of participation, our tastes here at CU run the gamut.

This year, I’m as excited about the performances by Madonna, Kanye West (twice!), and that Hozier and Annie Lennox duet as I am about any of the country performers, and I’ll be rooting for West and Childish Gambino to sweep the Rap and Hip-Hop categories.

Who do you think will be the big winners on Sunday night, and who are you hoping will win and looking forward to seeing perform?  As always, share your thoughts in the comments!

Meghan Trainor All About That BassRecord of the Year

Will Win:

  • Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX, “Fancy”
  • Sia, “Chandelier”
  • Sam Smith, “Stay With Me” (Darkchild Version) – Kevin, Leeann, Jonathan, Ben
  • Taylor Swift, “Shake it Off”
  • Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass”

Should Win:

  • Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX, “Fancy”
  • Sia, “Chandelier” – Jonathan
  • Sam Smith, “Stay With Me” (Darkchild Version)
  • Taylor Swift, “Shake it Off”
  • Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass” – Kevin, Leeann

Kevin: In a decent year for pop music, any one of these records could credibly represent the year.  I think Sam Smith is Grammy catnip, so I expect him to win big.  I think “All About That Bass” was the most creative and interesting record of the five.

Leeann: I’m a fan of the Sam Smith song, but I agree with Kevin that “All About That Bass” is the most creative and interesting, not to mention the catchiest.

Jonathan: I actually thought it was a weak year for mainstream pop, as reflected by this fairly poor slate of nominees. Smith is right in that Adele / Norah Jones adult-pop wheelhouse that Grammy voters love, so he’s the most likely winner.  Sia’s “Chandelier” is the most progressive take on pop music among the five, though, if “Shake it Off” were to win anything, this would probably be the least egregious place to recognize Swift’s hit. I would have gladly rooted for the mash-up between Iggy Azalea’s and Reba’s respective takes on “Fancy.”

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