Dwight Yoakam Revisits His Songs in Bluegrass Style
Dwight Yoakam’s New Album ‘Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars…’ Out Now
For the making of Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars…, Dwight Yoakam has assembled a band of bluegrass luminaries to reinterpret favorites from his catalogue featuring eleven Yoakam compositions and a new cover of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’.
The album works very well, much more so than I originally thought it would. During my recent US travels I have come to really like the advance tracks played on radio. What’s more, at the Americana Music Festival and Conference recently Yoakam and two of the key players on the new album conducted a really informative session on the album at The Country Music Hall of Fame. The session included both live and recorded tracks and covered how the new release came about, the recording process and the background to the fresh tribute rendition of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’. He also sang the album’s opener ‘What I Don’t Know’ at the Americana Honors and Awards show.
The new album reflects the love for bluegrass music that Yoakam developed at an early age in Kentucky, and that has inspired him for many years thereafter. Yoakam’s choice to partner with Sugar Hill Records for this release speaks volumes about the seriousness of this endeavor, as Sugar Hill and its sister label Rounder have long been at the forefront of bluegrass, roots and Americana music.
This project was produced by nine-time Grammy winner Gary Paczosa (Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton), Jon Randall (Grammy winner, songwriter of “Whiskey Lullaby”) and Yoakam, recorded at both Southern Ground Studio in Nashville (which I had the pleasure of visiting) and the legendary Capitol Records Studio B in Los Angeles, and mixed by multiple Grammy award winner Chris Lord Alge.
For the recording, the production team gathered together a world-class band of bluegrass’ current greats including Grammy winner and nine-time International Bluegrass Music Association Guitar Player of the Year Bryan Sutton, Grammy winner Stuart Duncan on fiddle and banjo, fourteen-time Grammy winner Barry Bales on bass, Adam Steffey on mandolin (Alison Krauss) and Scott Vestal on banjo (Sam Bush). The LP also features harmony vocals by Jonathan Clark, Brian Whelan, Davey Faragher and newcomer Bryan Joyce.
Of the mixing Yoakam says:
“And then Chris Lord-Alge, who has mixed my last two studio albums, entered the picture in LA and agreed to add a further edge of Beggars Banquet-esque rock and roll mystique, completing the journey with a masterfully unique sonic framing of the entire project. I believe it was the first bluegrass album that Chris has ever mixed.”
Yoakam has recorded more than twenty-two albums with five reaching the #1 spot on Billboard. He is a twenty one-time nominated, multiple Grammy winner. In 2013 he was awarded The Americana Music Association Award for Artist of the Year. He has collaborated with everyone from Beck to Kid Rock, ZZ Top, Hunter S. Thompson and Jack White. He has toured with the likes of Buck Owens, Johnny Cash and Hüsker Dü.
In 1977, Yoakam left Kentucky for Nashville to embark on a music career but found that the Music City was moving away from traditional country roots to more pop-country. He found himself better suited to the post-Bakersfield movement and became one of the founding fathers of the “L.A. Cowpunk Scene” influenced by second-wave rockabilly and punk alongside X, Los Lobos, The Knitters, Rank & File and The Blasters.
SWIMMIN’ POOLS, MOVIE STARS… TRACKLIST
1. What I Don’t Know
2. Free To Go
3. Sad, Sad Music
4. These Arms
5. I Wouldn’t Put It Past Me
7. Two Doors Down
8. Guitars, Cadillacs
9. Home For Sale
10. Please, Please Baby
11. Gone (That’ll Be Me)
12. Purple Rain
DWIGHT YOAKAM TOUR DATES
October 13—Abraham Chavez Theatre—El Paso, TX
October 14—La Hacienda Event Center—Midland, TX
October 20—EnCana Events Centre—Dawson Creek, BC
October 21 & 22—River Cree Resort & Casino, The Venue—Enoch, AB
October 24—Art Hauser Centre—Prince Albert, SK
October 25—Canalta Centre—Medicine Hat, AB
October 27—Prospera Place—Kelowna, BC
October 28—Hard Rock Casino Vancouver—Coquitlam, BC
October 29—Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre—Victoria, BC
November 3—The Majestic Ventura Theater—Ventura, CA
November 5—Silver Legacy Hotel Casino—Reno, NV
November 6—Pauma Casino Showroom—Pauma Valley, CA
November 10—Buffalo Run Casion—Miami, OK
November 11—Bluesville Showroom at Horseshoe Casino—Robinsonville, MS
November 12—Horseshoe Bossier City Riverdome—Bossier City, IA
December 8—The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan—Las Vegas, NV
December 29—Arena Theatre—Houston, TX
December 30—Global Event Center at Winstrar World Casino & Resort—Thackerville, OK
January 27 & 28 2017—Island Resort & Casino—Harris, MI
May 27—Heritage Park, Tree Town Country Music Festival—Forest City, IA
June 23—Wild West Arena – Nebraskaland Days—North Platte, NE