Dwight Yoakam is one of those acts that the music fans love. He started out in the '80s with a honky-tonk sound that was against the grain of the urban cowboy pop country of the time.

His new album, comes out today, and you can listen to it now on CBC Music.


Dwight Yoakam
21st Century Hits: Best of 2000-2012


Streaming until Oct. 8

Yoakam established himself in the Music Row firmament with a string of hit records in the '80s, but not until after he left Nashville for Los Angeles, where he found himself playing punk clubs with acts like the Blasters and X. He even found himself in front of the camera in movies like Sling Blade, Panic Room and Crank.

Johnny Cash called Yoakam his favourite male country singer, and this collection shows you why. Yoakam has a powerful, twangy voice that will make a fan of anybody, even the people who say they don't like country music. Yoakam is the gateway hillbilly.

This new album charts the period in Yoakam's career covering his break from Warner-owned Reprise Records, to his eventual return with last year's 3 Pears. Leaving the label that was his home during his rise to fame, Yoakam released a series of critically acclaimed albums that allowed him to explore new ground further from the Music Row concept of popular country.

You can take in his gift for covering other artists' work, including his honky-tonkin' version of Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," three songs from his tribute to Buck Owens, Dwight Sings Buck, and a rocking take on Mike Stinson's "The Late Great Golden State." The album also features duets with Willie Nelson and Michelle Branch, and the Beck-produced track "A Heart Like Mine."

posted by Mike Miner on Sep 30, 2013