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Dwight Sings Buck vs. Confessions of a Buckaholic
A comparative CD review by psychologist,
Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr BLT
Dwight Yoakham’s Dwight Sings Buck may be more aptly titled, Dwight Channels Buck, not only because of the verasimilitude between the two artists, in terms of their respective styles, but because, somehow, Dwight is able to fuse Buck’s spirit with his own as he embarks upon this musical journey through 15 Owens classics.
"In My Heart Skips a Beat," Dwight doesn’t skip a beat. And he is consistent throughout the album in delivering the goods with style, sentiment, and verve.
"I Don’t Care (Just as Long as You Love Me)" is one of my very favorites. There’s something very pure, very innocent, and very straightforward about that number.
Dwight channel’s Buck’s pain on songs like "Close up the Honky Tonks," every bit as deftly as he channels Buck’s pleasure, on songs like "Act Naturally." But there’s more heartbreak and more pain to be found in this collection of Buck’s best than there is pleasure.
I don’t like to mix metaphors, or artists, but In "Song Sung Blue," Neil Diamond suggests, “When you take the blues and make a song, you sing them out again.”
And it could certainly be said that when you take teardrops and add a twang, you wipe away the tears with the twang. Dwight is one of the last great “twangers” of all times. At times, he seems to out-twang Buck himself. When Dwight gets tangled up in twang, nobody wants to untangle him.
The video for Close up the Honky Tonks is every bit as compelling and believable as Dwight’s recording of the song. The song, and the video are so convincing that even a person whose heart has never been broken is likely to understand what it feels like it’s been broken a thousand times.
It is hard to compare this Buck Owens tribute to other CDs that have been released as tributes to one of the two kings of Kern County (Merle is the other “king”). I haven’t heard them. I have heard my own. However, comparing Confessions of a Buckaholic to Dwight Sings Buck is like comparing apples and oranges. He’s a big star. I’m, well….not. He has access to the most expensive recording studios in the biz. I don’t. He does Buck covers. I don’t. All of the songs on Confessions of a Buckaholic are original songs about the life and music of Buck Owens. Dwight’s CD is a honky-tonk country CD. Stylistically, Confessions of a Buckaholic is all over the map. Confessions includes country, hick hop, New Nashville West, and alternative rock. Dwight Sings Buck has been internationally distributed. Notwithstanding one or two extant copies at Russo’s Books at the Marketplace, me singing about Buck aka Confessions of a Buckaholic, is temporarily out of print, but more copies will be made available on my website soon.
What both CDs share in common is an unspeakable urgency, and, with that urgency, an unbridled passion for the music and the legacy that Buck Owens left us with. I’d highly recommend Dwight Sings Buck. I’m not in a position to recommend Confessions of a Buckaholic. I’m biased for obvious reasons. You’ll have to check it out for yourself, when the samples become posted, once again on my CD store:
Last Time I Saw Buck Owens
Yer Own Buck