Country music legend, Dwight Yoakam, has never catered to the slick, polished sound of mainstream country music. Never has that been more true than now, with the release of his latest album “Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars…,” the first bluegrass record from Yoakam.
It should come as no surprise to fans of Yoakam that he’s finally releasing a bluegrass record. He wears his bluegrass influences on his sleeve, and cites artists, such as the late Ralph Stanley, as influences.
Unlike his usual hardcore honky tonk records, Yoakam left the band at home this time and enlisted the help of some of bluegrass’s most respected musicians to recreate a variety of songs from his catalogue.
The record opens strong with “What I Don’t Know,” originally from 1988’s “Buenas Noches From A Lonely Room,” and goes on to feature several deeper cuts from Yoakam that the casual fan might not be familiar with.
Of course, Yoakam made sure to include two of his most popular hits, “Guitars, Cadillacs” and “Please, Please Baby.”
Though the latter didn’t take much tweaking to work in a bluegrass rendition, the arrangement of “Guitars, Cadillacs” was a pleasant surprise, with Yoakam’s guitar playing being featured.
The record surprisingly ends with a cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” It seems like Prince’s music has been exhausted since his passing earlier this year, but Yoakam’s bluegrass arrangement is fresh and more than appropriate to pay tribute to a fellow artist and end a great record.
“Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars…” will be available in stores and online Friday.
Visit dwightyoakam.com for more information.