Dwight Yoakam Live on KCRW – A Heart Like Mine

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It’s 10:15 am and soundcheck is done. The management team along with their publicists are chatting up the band members while the sound engineers finalize the settings. We’re all set but there’s a palpable anxiousness as we wait for the man of the hour.

At 10:25 Dwight strolls in and there’s a collective sigh of relief coupled with a heightened sense of awareness. Even his band members sit up a little straighter. He looks at everyone — and I mean everyone — right in their eyes and utters a country-boy hello. Now we can begin.

Immediately, we recognize we’re in Dwight’s world now. The publicist’s agenda and the show’s production schedule go right out the window. Even the interview that Jason has to lasso and tie-down like a bucking bronco is on Dwight’s terms and its obvious we’re all just along for the ride. But what a ride it was.

His album “3 Pears” is his first in nearly 7 years but, without cliché, well worth the wait. He hasn’t lost any of his genre-bending country rock and Bakersfield twang. His voice has settled into its chassis and hits that honky-tonk hiccup whenever it wants to. And just to keep his millions of fans on their toes, he’s enlisted the help of co-producer Beck on two of the tracks to round out the 60s revivalism. Yup, it’s pure Dwight.

I imagine it would be second nature and maybe a little fun for a man of Dwight’s stature and place in the lexicon of Americana to dig in his heels and pull rank from time to time. But from the moment he walked in the door to the second he donned his Stetson and draped his coat over his shoulder he was a fun-lovin’ honky-tonk man who had a story to tell. And oh yeah, a few songs to play as well.

— Collin Walzak, MBE Associate Producer

Dwight Yoakam Live on KCRW- Set List

Rock It Away
3 Pears
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke
Nothing But Love
A Heart Like Mine

Photo by Larry Hirshowitz
by Larry Hirshowitz
Jason Bentley and Dwight Yoakam by Larry Hirshowitz