Dwight Yoakam

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz



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Dwight Yoakam

Dwight Yoakam

Dwight Yoakam has had dozens of hit records, but what’s maybe more impressive is the way he’s managed to cruise up the mainstream but never lose credibility as an authentic country artist. He’s as likely to win a pile of Americana Music Association awards for his new album 3 Pears (Warner Bros.) as he is to take home trophies from the CMAs, and he’d deserve them all: 3 Pears is gritty enough for the Outlaw crowd and bright enough for radio. Musically and sonically, it’s a thing of beauty.

This album marks Yoakam’s major-label return, and his first album of original songs since 2005, but some of the material dates back even further. “Track one [“Take Hold of My Hand”], I had the basic chorus and opening laying around unfinished for 20 years,” Yoakam says. “Kid Rock and I had threatened to do something together, and he asked me to come out to his place. I happened to find this thing, and I went, ‘I haven’t thought about that in years!’”

The record includes other high-profile collaborations: “Never Alright” was co-writen with Ashley Monroe (lately of Pistol Annies), and the first two tracks to be recorded for the album—“A Heart Like Mine” and “Missing Heart”—were co-produced by Beck. That pair were tracked with the help of engineers Cole Marsden Greif Neill, Cassidy Turbin and Darrell Thorp.

“After that we started some tracking with Joe Chiccarelli at EastWest,” Yoakam explains, “but Joe’s schedule didn’t allow him to complete the album, so Joe recommended Marc DeSisto, and Marc stayed with me till the album got finished.”

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