concert reviews

At the 9:30 Club, Dwight Yoakam Keeps On Rolling (and Rocking, Too)
Dwight Yoakam at the 9:30 Club, Washington, DC, Wednesday 15 March 2006

Although Dwight Yoakam has been making music for over 20 years, he showed no signs of slowing down during his 2 1/2 -hour show Wednesday night at the 9:30 club. He rolled one song into the next, barely pausing for applause or banter -- though at one point he apologized for playing "A Long Way Home," imploring the crowd to do "whatever you have to do to sit through this one."

Luckily, the energy and power behind his music carried his performance, from the blazing "Intentional Heartache" to the melancholy "You're the One." Sometimes, Yoakam even seemed more like a rock star than a country singer: During the rollicking "Fast as You," he jumped offstage and played guitar in the crowd. He further blurred the line between country and rock musically, with honky-tonk versions of Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me" and Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love."

But Yoakam also showed his deep country roots, from the Hank Williams feel of his own song "Nothing's Changed Here" to his tributes to Johnny Cash ("Home of the Blues") and Waylon Jennings ("Stop the World"). And while most of his songs covered themes of heartache and loneliness, Yoakam's set never dragged as he switched styles, tempos and backing instruments through nearly 40 crowd-raising songs.

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post, 17 March 2006; Page C08
.: Selected discography: Dwight Yoakam Live from Austin, TX (Austin City Limits): CD and DVD (2005); Blame the Vain (Dwight Yoakam, 2005); Tomorrow's Sounds Today (Dwight Yoakam, 2000); A Long Way Home (Dwight Yoakam, 1998); Gone (Dwight Yoakam, 1995); If There Was A Way (Dwight Yoakam, 1990); Buenas Noches From a Lonely Room (Dwight Yoakam, 1988); Hillbilly Deluxe (Dwight Yoakam, 1987); Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. (Dwight Yoakam, 1986).