When this album was released in 1986, country music had become stale. But its no-holds-barred step back to the great Bakersfield sound, wonderfully original songs, killer covers, and Yoakam’s wholly original style had huge, immediate impact. Not to mention the amazing guitar work courtesy of producer Pete Anderson.
On this Deluxe Edition, Rhino’s included Yoakam’s 1981 demos, including several songs that would later become huge hits for him. The players include Jerry McGee on guitar and Jay Dee Maness on pedal steel, and they sound fine.
On songs like “I’ll Be Gone,” “Guitars, Cadillacs…” and “Honky Tonk Man” Pete Anderson pretty much rewrote the book. If you’re a fan of Anderson and the band, you’ll really like Disc 2 – a concert at the Roxy recorded just after the first single hit the airwaves. The band is hot, and Anderson’s playing is inspired. The concert, most of which has never been issued before, bears out both. Any fan should have this, and those who didn’t get in on it the first time around would do well to start here.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Feb. ’07 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.