Jump to Content

Welcome! You’re browsing the No Depression Archives

No Depression has been the foremost journalistic authority on roots music for well over a decade, publishing 75 issues from 1995 to 2008. No Depression ceased publishing magazines in 2008 and took to the web. We have made the contents of those issues accessible online via this extensive archive and also feature a robust community website with blogs, photos, videos, music, news, discussion and more.

Close This

Miked - Live Reviews from Issue #5 Sept-Oct 1996

David BallDwight Yoakam

Erwin Center (Austin, TX), August 15, 1996

There is no doubt in my mind that Dwight Yoakam is the smoothest crooner in country music today, and that Pete Anderson is one of country’s best guitar players. I’ve been a fan of Yoakam for over 10 years but had never seen him until this show.

Current country hitmaker David Ball, previously a member of the much-missed Austin country-jazz-swing trio Uncle Walt’s Band, opened the show with a respectable set of radio-ready tunes for the lace-up-roper crowd. Underneath Ball’s starched-perfect image and Nashville polish is a solid base of well-sung country songs.

Yoakam took the stage at about 9:30 and promptly raced into a set of well-played but predictable hits, covering the highlights from his entire catalog. There aren’t a lot of frills to a Yoakam show — just the band, a couple of screens playing his various videos, and a few sampled horns and backing vocals. The real highlights of evening didn’t come until encore time. A pair of smoking covers — Bill Monroe’s “The Road Is Rocky” and the Blasters’ “Long White Cadillac” — ended the evening with what I’d been longing for: a rawer and more sincere performance.

Back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, my uncle used to take me to see Hank Williams Jr. for my birthday every year. I treasure the memories of those shows. Hank didn’t give a damn what anybody anywhere thought of him, especially the Nashville crowd. He just wanted to have a good time. He always did, and so did the audience.

At the Erwin Center, everyone seemed to have a good time except for one person: Yoakam himself. The band was good, he sang well, but the spark just was not there. It felt like an evening of Dwight by the numbers. Yoakam has built a career by challenging the standards of a stagnant industry. I just wish he’d have brought a little more of that energy to this performance.

Enjoy the ND archives? Consider making a donation with PayPal or send a check to:
No Depression, 460 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108


Did you enjoy this article? Start a discussion about it, or find out what others are saying in the No Depression Community forum.

Join the Discussion »

Find out what's going on in roots music. Share concert photos and videos, learn about new artists, blog about the music you love.

Join the No Depression Community »

Originally Featured in Issue #5 Sept-Oct 1996

Cover of Issue #5 Sept-Oct 1996

Sorry, this issue is SOLD OUT

Buy our history before it’s gone!

Each issue is artfully designed and packed full of great photos that you don‘t get online. Visit the No Depression store to own a piece of history.

Visit the No Depression Store »

From the Blogs

  • Rod Kennedy (1930-2014) and the Kerrville Folk Festival - Interview & Remembrance
    Rod Kennedy’s legacy is incalculable for those who truly love music, he departed this earthly plane on Monday 14th April 2014. R.I.P. The following “warts and all” late May 1986 interview with Mr. Kennedy, the founder of the Kerrville Folk Festival, was the lead feature in the debut issue of the Kerrville Kronikle fanzine sometime around 1988. No serendipity […]
  • Simone Felice - King Tuts Wah Wah Hut (Glasgow - 4/11/2014)
    With his second solo album safely under his belt Simone Felice is rapidly conforming his status as one of the finest purveyors of Americana around these days. Fortunately (for us) he remains somewhat under the mass radar allowing audiences to see him in intimate settings such as the hallowed King Tuts, a perfect space to see and hear his shamanistic offering […]
  • First Seldom Scene Album in Seven Years: Exclusive Look
    Seldom Scene issues its first Smithsonian Folkways album next week with guests including Emmylou Harris. Mike Auldridge passed away in 2012, but the group includes founding member Ben Eldridge as well as Lou Reid, Dudley Connell, Ronnie Simpkins, and Fred Travers. Here is a look at "My Better Years" the Hazel Dickens' tune from the album,  […]
  • MerleFest - Wilkesboro, North Carolina - April 24-27 2014
    While there are quite a few notable festivals that begin earlier than late April, many of us kick off the festival season by trekking to not your normal community college, the Wilkes Community College in the rolling hills of north central North Carolina where MerleFest has been held every year since 1988. Named in honor of Merle Watson who lived nearby, 2014 […]
  • Americana Boogie new releases for the week of April 15th... Rodney Crowell, Bobby Bare Jr, Moot Davis, Secret Sisters, Ray Bonneville and more
    BOBBY BARE JR. Undefeated (Bloodshot) Bobby Bare, Jr. could've phoned in a career. He could've exploited the fact that he s the son of Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Bare, instead, he blazed a path of unique songwriting… […]
  • Five Questions: Kris Orlowski
    With his new album, Believer, Seattle's Kris Orlowski steps forward in two new directions. First, it's a full-length record (after three EPs) and, second, he's a band (not just a singer/songwriter). Listening to the depth and breadth of Believer, both points ring out loud and clear -- it's a solid collection of songs rendered in big sonic […]

Shop Amazon by clicking through this logo to support NoDepression.com. We get a percentage of every purchase you make!

Subscribe To the No Depression Newsletter

Subscribe to the No Depression Newsletter