This salute to the songwriting genius of late country great Buck Owens has been on Dwight Yoakam's mind since their collaboration on Streets Of Bakersfield shot to the top of the country charts nearly 20 years back. But it likely wasn't until he hooked up with New West that producing the project himself made sense.
It was worth the wait. The well-considered selections on Dwight Sings Buck - chart hits like Act Naturally, Love's Gonna Live Here, Under Your Spell Again and Cryin' Time, along with less obvious examples of Owens's considerable compositional skill - suggest that Yoakam had a free hand to cut the songs that meant most to him as a fellow singer/songwriter.
Throughout, he avoids Buck karoake and does an impressive job of personalizing each song while staying true to the Bakersfield sound Owens helped create. This one's straight from the heart.