Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Independent Spirit; Country Star Dwight Yoakam Gives a Nod to the Beatles on His New Album, ' 3 Pears.'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Independent Spirit; Country Star Dwight Yoakam Gives a Nod to the Beatles on His New Album, ' 3 Pears.'

Article excerpt

Dwight Yoakam was part of what Steve Earle has called the Great Credibility Scare of the late '80s, when so-called New Traditionalists filled the country radio charts post-"Urban Cowboy" and pre-Garth Brooks. But Yoakam's career has been anything but traditional.

A Kentucky native reared in Ohio, Yoakam was embraced by Los Angeles roots rockers and punk rockers despite channeling the Bakersfield vibe of country icons Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.

Most recently, after spending some time on independent labels, he returned to his original home at Warner Reprise but to the label's Nashville office, where expectations turned upside down again and he became a hit on the Americana radio chart.

"3 Pears," his most recent CD released last fall, was No. 1 on that chart for eight weeks. Its success has prompted plans for release of a deluxe version with new and reimagined tracks, a few of which could surface during his concert Sunday at the Pageant.

"I had a great run with commercial country radio," says Yoakam, who scored 14 Top 10 singles from his 1986 debut through 1993. "But it's been interesting to have this come full circle, to be embraced by the audience that helped launch me not the same audience, (they were) the parents of the current audience of 'alt' listeners."

"3 Pears" comes after a seven-year gap during which Yoakam recorded only a CD of Owens covers. But while waiting for the digital music revolution to shake out it still hasn't, he says he continued to write songs and act in films and TV. It's a dual track he has pursued since high school, revealing himself emotionally and physically (he's mostly bald) while continuing in concert to play the sexy, smoldering singing star under a pulled-low cowboy hat.

The title track of "3 Pears" the first line of the song is: "3 pears of glasses/3 pears of shades" is a "tongue-in-cheek reference over under sideways down" to John Lennon, the Beatles and Apple Records, Yoakam says. …

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