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Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars…
Few entertainers have attained the iconic status of Dwight Yoakam. Perhaps that is because so few have consistently and repeatedly met the high standard of excellence delivered by the Kentucky native no matter what his endeavor. His name immediately conjures up compelling, provocative images: A pale cowboy hat with the brim pulled low; poured-on blue jeans; intricate, catchy melodies paired with poignant, brilliant lyrics that mesmerize with their indelible imprint. Then there's Yoakam the actor, who seemingly melts into his roles, impressively standing toe-to-toe with some of the world's top actors.
Like the icons he so admires --Elvis, Merle, Buck-- Yoakam is one of a kind. He has taken his influences and filtered them into his own potent blend of country and rock that honors his musical predecessors and yet creates something beautifully new. As Vanity Fair declared, "Yoakam strides the divide between rock's lust and country's lament."
Yoakam has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, placing him in an elite cadre of global superstars. His debut album, Guitars, Cadillacs, set the tone as critics and fans alike responded to a new voice that arrived fully formed with no contemporary rival.
He has 12 gold albums and nine platinum or multi-platinum albums, including the triple-platinum "This Time". Five of those albums have topped Billboard's Country Albums chart with another 14 landing in the Top 10.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, or bluer in this case, which may be why Dwight Yoakam hadn’t thought of doing a bluegrass album over the years. It was always already implicit in his music, from “Miner’s Prayer” on his first album 30 years ago to his one-off collaborations with Ralph Stanley and Earl Scruggs. If you listened hard, you could even hear that strain of mountain music in the melodies and harmonic sense of his most rocked-out country hits. He wasn’t consciously thinking through the years that he could bust out the mandolins to confirm his Kentucky bona fides – “Melodically, it’s just part of my nature,” Yoakam says, “part of the birthright, I guess, in my DNA.”
Yet here he is, releasing Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars… in the same year that he is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Guitars, Cadillacs.
Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars… harks back to that landmark debut in its obviously cheeky title, while otherwise looking even farther back by recasting some of Yoakam’s most classic songs in a style that not only predates cowpunk but antecedes his beloved Bakersfield sound. Yoakam even remakes “Guitars, Cadillacs” in the style of “Man of Constant Sorrow.”