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DWIGHT YOAKAM’S GOT GRASS...
8/3/16

BY HOLLY GLEASON

He may’ve hit the scene like the ultimate David Lynch, honky-tonk sex bomb, but Dwight Yoakam’s got Appalachian roots. And come this fall, he’ll show he knows how to use them.

On 9/23, the hardcore singer/songwriter will release Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars..., 11 seriously bluegrass takes on his original Bakersfield meets Black Flag classics. Working with roots-driven Sugar Hill Records to keep it real, the project is produced by nine-time Grammy winner Gary Paczosa (Sarah Jarosz, Steep Canyon Rangers, Crooked Still), CMA-winning songwriter and respected multi-instrumentalist Jon Randall and Yoakam, the 2013 Americana Music Association Artist of the Year.

Recorded at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Studios in Nashville and Capitol’s Studio B in Hollywood, Swimmin’ Pools enlists the best of today’s bluegrass musicians, including nine-time international Bluegrass Music Association Guitar Player of the Year (and acclaimed solo artist) Bryan Sutton on guitar, Grammy winner Stuart Duncan on fiddle and banjo, 14-time Grammy winner Barry Bales on bass and Alison Krauss alum Adam Steffey on mandolin.

For people who remember the blaze of Yoakam during the cowpunk fury that abutted X, The Blasters, Los Lobos, Rank & File and Lone Justice, this album stands to tap the same vein of furious bluegrass that parallels so much of what made Guitars, Cadillacs, Hillbilly Deluxe all the way through 2015’s Second Hand Heart such fraught slices of what country music is truly made of.

Closing down the Americana Music Association’s Americana Fest with a free show at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Bandshell on Sunday 8/7, the last Cailfornia country star embarks on an aggressive tour of North America throughout the fall.

Having collaborated with Beck, ZZ Top, Buck Owens and Jack White, it was only a matter of time before the artistically restless Yoakam mined his people’s Kentucky roots. For the former Ohio State drama major, though, this is not a role to play, but a coming home to where his music truly gets its soul—and its fire.