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Multitalented Dwight Yoakam still dares to be different

Pioneering country crooner. Influential songwriter. Mafia surgeon Doc Miles in the adrenaline-pumping “Crank” (and “Crank 2”).

The legendary Dwight Yoakam has worn many hats under his signature-tipped Stetson, and it’s earned him a career of cross-genre appeal that his country music brethren could only hope to achieve. But the multifaceted concoction of artistic success enjoyed by the Kentucky-born Yoakam is not easily replicated. It’s not like every Nashville-bound picker can expertly advance Buck Owen’s Bakersfield sound, be embraced by modern rock tastemakers like Jack White and Dan Auerbach—then have the chutzpah to release a bluegrass cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”

But there’s Yoakam on last year’s “Swimming Pools, Movie Stars…” joining with members of Allison Krause’s Union Station to recast some of his most beloved work (highlighted by tracks off 1986’s "Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.”) with a bluegrass sheen, all while tossing in a elegiac tribute to the late purple icon at the end of the album.

Not every CMA stalwart could get away with such a daring swing. But for Yoakam, it’s just another ambitious delve amid a career’s worth of performance expertise—all served with a tip of the brim.

Dwight Yoakam: 8 p.m. Aug. 12 at Artpark (450 South Fourth St., Lewiston). Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35-$87 (box office, Tickets.com)

 

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