Dwight Yoakam Member Picks Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Wed., April 10, 8 p.m. 2013

When Dwight Yoakam released the superb 3 Pears (Warner Brothers) last September, he hadn’t put out a new album in five years, but it promptly reminded anyone who cared to listen why he’s been one of the most daring yet consistent artists in country for 25 years—and why Nashville has little use for him these days. The longer-than-usual gap between records might lead you to assume that Yoakam was regrouping and getting back in touch with the basics, but for him “the basics” are a casually expansive style that uses his soulful twang to stamp his personality on the lean, hard-hitting sound of classic Bakersfield country, with its pop-grade hooks, trebly electric guitar, and aching, forceful vocals. There’s nothing retro-revivalist about his hooky originals, even when he dabbles in old-school soul on “Trying,” borrows from Elvis Costello on the title track, or summons the spunk of early Beatles on “A Heart Like Mine.” And when Yoakam tackles Joe Maphis’s classic “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke”—a country standard—he honors its hard honky-tonk sound and shuffling drive while jacking up its energy. I sure hope we don’t have to wait another five years for a follow-up. —Peter Margasak

Price: $50-$79

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