I don’t live in the world of die-hard country music fandom. There are plenty of things about it I don’t get. I mean there’s the stereotypical perfect country and western song thing a la David Allan Coe: trains, mama, prison, getting drunk, and pickup trucks.
Not exactly my wheelhouse. There’s also sub genres like Bro Country and Red Dirt. When I have a conversation about country music, I tell folks I like Dwight Yoakam. I’d have to credit his longtime associate, guitarist/producer Pete Anderson for a big part of that. His guitar riffs combined with Dwight’s vocals/charisma grabbed my attention right away.
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed a lot of Dwight Yoakam’s cover songs because they’re so unique. The first that pops to mind is the Queen tune “Crazy Thing Called Love”.
Rockabilly suits Dwight well. You can hear the Elvis influence. I can’t recall hearing any other covers of this Freddie Mercury-penned tune, but I think this one was used in a Gap commercial. According to Wikipedia, Mercury wrote the song as a tribute to The King …and then recorded it with Queen!
Getting back to Dwight, another cover of his made my ears perk up: The Loco-Motion. This one is a different arrangement than the original, but it works for me. Not everyone will love it.
What would you call the style of this one…Statler Brothers meets Buddy Holly? Listen to his vocals. It’s also got a twangy little guitar solo in it. He definitely took the Gerry Goffin-Carole King tune to a new place musically. (It was originally recorded by their kids’ babysitter Little Eva.)
I haven’t heard too many covers of songs originally penned by Dwight to date, but I stumbled across one I love. Raul Malo of The Mavericks does a great take on Pocket of a Clown. I bought it on iTunes, but haven’t found it on YouTube. Viva Dwight!
Till next time, keep your Mojo on the Horizon!