Saturday, December 26, 2009

Country Music Highway: Dwight Yoakam

This post will hopefully be the first in a series featuring artists from the Country Music Highway in eastern Kentucky. The Country Music Highway is the stretch of U.S. Route 23 that runs north-south in eastern Kentucky. An unusually large number of country music stars were born in the counties that the highway lies in. I want to start the series by featuring one of the bigger stars, and one of my absolute favorite artists.
Dwight Yoakam was born in Pike County, KY. He writes and sings a lot of songs that are influenced by lifestyles of the area. Coal mining, preaching, family. The song below is one he wrote about the highway itself and how the mentality in the area is to learn the basics and then take the highway north out of the area to find a decent job. Dwight's solo acoustic album has a great version of the song on it, and it is probably my favorite Dwight album by far. The version below is recording for a radio broadcast on KPFK in California on August 4th, 1985. This is before Dwight hit it big. The track is over seven minutes, but the second half is some great interview/discussion with Dwight. I got this set from A Truer Sound a while back. Check it out here. Hopefully it is still downloadable.

Dwight Yoakam - "Readin', Writin', and Rt. 23"

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