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Yoakam: sure thing at the casino

Mohegan Sun Events Center, Uncasville, CT

By Stuart Munro

UNCASVILLE, CT. - Dwight Yoakam's appearance at the Mohegan Sun Events Center was the closest to a sure thing you're ever likely to see in a casino.

Trad country torchbearer and purveyor of electric hillbilly music, this show confirmed that and more. And if it unfortunately lacked the solo acoustic set that Yoakam has been offering as an encore at other shows on this tour (due perhaps to the anticipated nature of the casino crowd, although it was clear from the screaming that a good part of the audience was there to see Yoakam), it was nonetheless a 90-minute, 23-song tour de force.

The show paid heed to both of his last two releases, with six cuts from "{A Long Way Home" - highlighted by the unbelievable, spine-tingling, Twitty-evoking "Yet to Succeed"- and an equal number of the 11 "hits of the '90's from the just-out "Last Chance for a Thousand Years."

Strewn among those were early favorites ("Guitars, Cadillacs," "Little Sister," "Little Ways," "Please, Please Baby") and, mid-set, a trio of acoustic, bluegrass-flavored songs - "Miner's Prayer" and the holler cry of "Traveler's Lantern" (Yoakam's tributes to his grandfather and grandmother, respectively), followed by an incredible, banjo-driven version of "Mystery Train."

Surprisingly, current hit "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was not reserved to close the set or for the encore; instead, after closing with "Fast As You," Yoakam encored with the rock-and-roll beat of "Rocky Road Blues" and a scorching "Long White Cadillac."

As ever, Yoakam was accompanied by his crack studio/road band, The Babylonian Cowboys. Scott Joss was a particular marvel both on fiddle and with his high harmonies. But the real revelation was the newest band member: on pedal steel guitar and on dobro, Gary Morse was superb.

Of course, the main attraction was Yoakam, and he was his usual drawling, hip-swiveling, leg-shaking self. If this is his "last chance for a thousand years," as the title of his latest hits collection puts it, Dwight Yoakam is making the most of it.


Only Want You More
Turn It On, Turn It Up, Turn Me Loose
Guitars, Cadillacs
Little Sister
The Heart That You Own
Same Fool
Things Change
Little Ways
Yet to Succeed
Please, Please Baby
Ain't That Lonely Yet
It Only Hurts When I Cry
A Long Way Home
Miner's Prayer
Traveler's Lantern
Mystery Train
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
A Thousand Miles From Nowhere
Streets of Bakersfield
Honky Tonk Man
Fast As You
Rocky Road Blues
Long White Cadillac

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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