not a member? click here to sign up
There is a Dwight that never goes out
He's had his ups and downs over the course of a long and distinguished career. In a rare interview, Dwight Yoakam talks about sundered musical partnerships and explains how he's learned to love again.
Joe Jackson, 14 Jul 2006
One can appreciate why the thought of touring might have lately left a slightly bitter taste in Dwight Yoakam’s mouth. It was, after all, his decision to do a solo tour a few years back that led to a parting of the ways between himself and long-time collaborator, producer, guitarist and general good-buddy Pete Anderson.
“Our break-up came about organically,” he explains. “I'd done the album Population Me and did that solo tour, called Almost Alone, in 2003, with just Keith Gattis on guitar, who’s on the new album Blame The Vain too.”
It was, he felt, time to do something new. Pete, however, didn’t necessarily agree, which led to “legal ramifications”.
Still, Dwight is proud of their time together. ”We did work in unison over a 21-year period. We did 17 albums and I think that might be a record for an artist and producer.”
Their collaboration yielded such stone cold classics as Guitars, Cadillacs Etc Etc and Hillbilly De Luxe. And anyone out there who has yet to savour those early Yoakam albums or This Time and, even more specifically, the sometimes neglected late '90s releases like Gone and A Long Way Home, should go and do so immediately (naturally, they should also check out Dwight in concert).
But whatever about the seemingly symbiotic interplay of Dwight’s voice and Anderson’s guitar, the partnership could not go on forever.
“What happens over time is you can become complacent with each other," he ventures. "I think Pete and I were vulnerable to being victims of complacency at times rather than falling victim to method over joyful madness. And sometimes you have to move away from that to go back and experience the joy again and that’s exactly what I found happening when I was recording Blame The Vain”.
Sounds like Dwight is – to quote one of his songs – a happy man these days.
“To answer that honestly, I don’t think anyone can really say ‘absolutely’ in terms of happiness. But I am happy. Yet am I without frustration every moment of the day? No. Am I without struggle? No. But that’s healthy. And that leads to happiness.”