The “traditional” country sound, some say, is a thing of the past. Today’s audience can’t connect to it, and the audience that did appreciate it is dwindling. Well, no one told the people that witnessed the legend Dwight Yoakam in Manchester, NH. He came out as traditional as they come and the crowd, young and old, couldn’t get enough of it!
Dwight took the stage in his usual honky tonk attire- cowboy hat, denim jacket, and light blue jeans. And his band was dressed to the nines in suits with rhinestones all over the coats, which they made look pretty darn cool (still trying to find a men’s formal wear store that carries them- any recommendations GCO readers?).
Beyond the look though was the music. Dwight tore through a set of his rockabilly/country/bluesy best with classics like “Honky Tonk Man,” “Guitars, Cadillacs,” “Aint That Lonely Yet,” and a favorite of mine, “Streets of Bakersfield.” And he didn’t just stand there and play. He strutted about the stage showing off the kind of play-guitar-and-move-your-feet dancing that made me think of the heyday of Elvis.
Not content to just stick to the hits, Dwight introduced an untitled new song in his set. He let the audience know that he was trying out a new song that he was excited about, but “we haven’t sent it to the record label yet, so if you don’t like it we won’t.” I can tell you that it’s a pretty good song with everything you’d expect from a DY track, so I hope it does show up on his next album.
Like I said before, the crowd loved every bit of this show. Throughout most of the set there was this young couple on the floor dancing like they were in some sort of country ballroom. I wish I could have gotten a video of this, as it’s more proof that the “young people don’t connect with traditional country” statement is a bunch of nonsense.
The man Johnny Cash once called his favorite country singer entered and left the Granite State with new fans and a lot of respect.