live’n’loud: Coun­try king Dwight Yoakam ....................

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS -

T’S been six years since US coun­try mu­sic leg­end Dwight Yoakam toured Aus­tralia and for fans of the man once cited by Johnny Cash as the man in black’s favourite coun­try mu­sic artist, the wait has been too long.

Yoakam, 55, per­son­i­fies coun­try mu­sic. He has the twang and the look but it’s his mu­sic that sets him apart.

It’s a unique blend of west coast US honky tonk in the finest tra­di­tions of his late great friend Buck Owen, cou­pled with plenty of emo­tion and gen­uine pas­sion for the genre.

The last time Yoakam was in Aus­tralia, he was on his Blame The Vain tour. This time, his tour co­in­cides with the re­lease of his lat­est al­bum, 3 Pears, his 13th stu­dio al­bum and first since his 2007 trib­ute al­bum Dwight Sings Buck.

‘‘This al­bum, 3 Pears, was recorded live and the sound is just like our shows,’’ Yoakam says.

‘‘This al­bum marks a re­turn to Warner Mu­sic, so in some ways it rep­re­sents me com­ing full circle af­ter start­ing with them.’’

Yoakam, who plays the River­stage in Bris­bane this week­end with home­grown coun­try star Lee Ker­naghan, says he is look­ing for­ward to bring­ing his cat­a­logue of songs back to his Aus­tralian fans.

‘‘I love Aus­tralia. The fans are so pas­sion­ate about the mu­sic and it’s a gift to be able to play our mu­sic for them to en­joy,’’ Yoakam says.

With each new tour and al­bum, the list of songs in Yoakam’s ar­se­nal con­tin­ues to grow, pre­sent­ing some in­ter­est­ing chal­lenges. ‘‘We have a set or playlist mapped out be­fore each show but that can vary and there’s noth­ing bet­ter than ven­tur­ing off the beaten path and play­ing it by ear,’’ Yoakam says.

‘‘There are songs which the fans want, and you have to re­spect that, and we try to play some of the hits. But we also en­joy just let­ting things roll and see­ing what hap­pens as well. It makes the show in­ter­est­ing for both us and the fans.’’

Yoakam has recorded more than 21 al­bums and com­pi­la­tions, sold more than 25 mil­lion records and re­leased more than 40 sin­gles, in­clud­ing Honky Tonk Man, Gui­tars, Cadil­lacs, I Got You, I Sang Dixie and Please, Please Baby.

Of course, there’s also an­other side to him – as an ac­tor. Yoakam has ap­peared in Sling Blade, Panic Room, Four Christ­mases, Dirty Girl and most re­cently, The Last Rites of Ran­son Pride.

The roles have had an im­pact on his record­ing ca­reer but Yoakam is back now, with a stel­lar al­bum that has re­turned him to the mu­si­cal spot­light.

And that’s ex­actly where he’ll be in Bris­bane this week­end, de­liv­er­ing a brand of coun­try that has earned him the re­spect of some of the big­gest names in coun­try mu­sic.

For diehard coun­try mu­sic fans, the show will be a unique op­por­tu­nity to see an icon in ac­tion – one no ‘‘fair dinkum’’ coun­try mu­sic fan should miss.

Dwight Yoakam and Lee Ker­naghan play The River­stage, Bris­bane, on Satur­day. Gates open 6pm

Gram­my­win­ning singer and song­writer Dwight Yoakam.

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