Dwight Yoakam brings his hillbilly storytelling and honky tonk sound to Visalia Fox Theatre
VISALIA – Dwight Yoakam’s rare blend of hillbilly storytelling and hip, honky tonk sound fit like a tight pair of jeans in the Central Valley, where Midwestern values meet West Coast sensibilities.
Yoakam will bring his pioneering country music sound and his award winning songwriting to the Visalia Fox Theatre on Jan. 5. The singer/songwriter has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, and he is a 21-time nominated, multiple Grammy Award winner. He has 12 gold albums and 9 platinum or multi-platinum albums, with five of those albums topping Billboard’s Country Albums chart and another 14 landing in the Top 10.
Nearly 40 of Yoakam’s singles have charted on Billboard, with 14 peaking in the Top 10. In September of 2016, Yoakam returned to his Kentucky roots and released his first-ever bluegrass album, “Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars …,” on Sugar Hill Records. Featuring a band of bluegrass luminaries, this album boasts a collection of reinterpreted favorites from his catalog, as well as a cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Produced by nine-time Grammy winner Gary Paczosa (Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton), Jon Randall (songwriter of “Whiskey Lullaby”), and Yoakam himself, and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge, this album reflects the love for bluegrass music that Yoakam developed at an early age in Kentucky and that has inspired him for many years thereafter.
Yoakam’s brand of honky tonk, hillbilly music as he called it, was unpopular when he arrived on the Nashville scene in the 1980s. Instead of sticking it out in Nashville and waiting for country music to progress, he moved to Los Angeles to move his sound forward. He performed at as many rock and punk clubs as he did country music hotspots and his music is credited for helping bridge the gap between rock and country.
In 2011, Yoakam re-signed with Warner Bros. Nashville and released his most successful and most critically acclaimed album of his career. He produced 3 Pears which includes a collaboration with Beck. The single 3 Pears reached No. 1 on the Americana Radio chart on Oct. 29, 2012 and went on to break the 2012 record for most weeks at No. 1 on Americana Radio. By the end of 2012, it was named on annual best of lists by NPR, Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, AOL’s The Boot, Entertainment Weekly, The Village Voice, and Rhapsody, and has been included in more critics’ “best of 2012” lists than any other artist in the country genre. He received the Artist of the Year award at the 2013 Americana Music Honors & Awards ceremony, the most prestigious award offered by the organization.
In addition to his musical career, Yoakam is a formidable film and television actor whose films include “Sling Blade” and “The Newton Boys.” In 2016, he recurred in David E. Kelley’s Amazon series, “Goliath.” Recently, he appeared in director Steven Soderbergh’s film, “Logan Lucky” with Channing Tatum and Daniel Craig.
Yoakam is capable of seamlessly melting into his roles and impressively standing toe-to-toe with some of the world’s top thespians over the course of his storied and successful acting career, including Jodie Foster, Tommy Lee Jones, Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker, and Matthew McConaughey.
The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5. Tickets range from $53 to $79 and are available at www.foxvisalia.org. The Visalia Fox Theatre is located at 308 W. Main St. in Visalia. For more information, call 559-625-1369.