Pioneering Country Music Award-winner Dwight Yoakam will perform at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale Saturday, April 6 at 11 a.m.
Few entertainers have attained the iconic status of Dwight Yoakam. He’s has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, placing him in an elite cadre of global superstars. 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. More than 30 singles have charted, with 22 going Top 20, including the incomparable hits “Honky Tonk Man,” “Please Please Baby,” “Little Ways,” “I Sang Dixie,” “It Only Hurts When I Cry,” “Fast as You” and “Thousand Miles from Nowhere.” He’s won two Grammys and earned a staggering 21 nominations.
Much has been written about the Kentucky-born, Ohio-raised Yoakam being too country for Nashville when he first sought out his musical fortune in the mid-80s, but the truth is his music has always been too unique, too ruggedly individualistic to fit neatly into any one box. Like the icons he so admires – Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Buck Owens – Yoakam is one of a kind.
His debut album, Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., set the tone as critics and fans alike responded to a new voice that arrived fully formed with no contemporary rival. Full of twang and truth, Yoakam led the New Traditionalist movement, though he was never confined by that role. The New York Times’ Peter Watrous, in fact, confirmed Yoakam’s status beyond his obvious importance to country: “He fits into a general cultural reinvestigation of things American, including jazz and grassroots rock-and-roll.”
Yoakam’s latest album, 3 Pears, balances his country core with a fiercely independent embrace of rock, Americana, pop and soul. With the collaborative assistance of modern singer/songwriter Beck, who co-produced two tracks, and current rocker Kid Rock, who co-wrote the hooky opener, “Take Hold of My Hand,” Yoakam explores the honest emotional extremes of his musical persona. “Heart Like Mine” puts a country garage-band spin on a classic pop/rock melody, “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)” – written by Joe and Rose Lee Maphis and closely associated with the Flying Burrito Brothers – is thrashing, 21st-century cowpunk. “Waterfall” takes an unusual, dreamy stab at embracing intimacy and “Long Way To Go” elegantly refines the concept of personal commitment. “Trying” surrounds an ultra-sensitive vocal performance with a ragged, soulful production. The witty title track was inspired by George Harrison: Living in the Material World, the Martin Scorsese-directed film bio. One scene found John Lennon horsing around in three pairs of glasses, and Yoakam was immediately struck by the late Beatle’s mix of zaniness and serious intent.
But the music only tells part of the story. Over the last 15 years, Yoakam has carved out a niche as one of the top character actors on film.
Starting with a role as a truck driver in John Dahl’s spicy film noir Red Rock West in 1992, Yoakam was an instantly mesmerizing presence on the big screen. However, nothing prepared viewers for his riveting appearance as the malevolent Doyle Hargraves in the Academy Award-winning film Sling Blade, for which he and his co-stars were also nominated for the Screen Actors Guild’s award for outstanding performance by a cast. He’s also appeared in Panic Room, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Four Christmases, Crank and Crank 2: High Voltage and Wedding Crashers.
Yoakam’s ability to fuse multiple genres in music and to work in a variety of formats in movies led Time magazine to call him a “Renaissance man” and inspired author Don McLeese, in Dwight Yoakam: A Thousand Miles From Nowhere, to dub him “a visionary beyond time.”
The potency of his performances also makes him a much in-demand guest on the television circuit. So much so that he holds the record for the most appearances by any musical artist on the top-ranked The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Whether singing about the twisted wreckage of romance, the broken dreams of this hard life, or the burgeoning optimism that marks his newest release, 3 Pears, Yoakam brings a knowing, glorious edge to his delivery and stands, in a world of artifice and flash, as a beacon of authenticity.
Tickets cost $59, $49, $39 and $29*; all seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets online at www.myhrl.com, www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. Doors open one-hour prior to show start time. *Additional fees may apply.