Dwight Yoakam In Others' Words

Yoakam successfully made the transition to being an indie artist earlier this year with Population: Me, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that his former label, Reprise, would want to squeeze the last drops out of their long relationship with this collection of tracks recorded over the years for various tribute projects and soundtracks. Despite this dodgy premise, In Others’ Words actually holds together well since Yoakam has never hidden his influences and in fact, has grown into a natural interpreter. So what’s here is a wide range of material given Yoakam’s (and producer Pete Anderson’s) distinctive touch, from Jimmie Rodgers’ "T For Texas” and Bill Monroe’s "Rocky Road Blues” to the Grateful Dead’s "Truckin’” and Kinky Friedman’s "Rapid City, South Dakota.” For any long-time fan, this definitely saves the trouble of tracking down all these songs individually, but otherwise there’s nothing essential or particularly revealing, aside from reinforcing Yoakam’s versatility as a performer. Although it’s a wonder why his cover of Queen’s "Crazy Little Thing Called Love” isn’t here as well. (Reprise)