Dwight Yoakam has a couple of new tracks, and they're more Bakersfield than the bluegrass songs heard on 2016's Swimmin' Pools, Movie Stars. Both "Pretty Horses" and "Then Here Came Monday" hit the web a day before their May 25 broadcast debut on SiriusXM's Dwight Yoakam & the Bakersfield Beat. The latter stands out in particular, as its story about lost love was co-written by Yoakam's fellow traditionalist Chris Stapleton.
"Then Here Came Monday" is classic Yoakam--a mid-tempo ballad that sounds like a Merle Haggard song and addresses a man's struggle to keep ignoring heartbreak as a new work week begins. The faster galloping "Pretty Horses" captures Yoakam's familiar nasal twang just as effectively while further blurring the historic lines between West Coast country and rock.
They aren't the digital equivalent of throwaway compilation songs or bonus tracks. Both are prime Dwight--songs that would've pleased his devoted fan base at any point in the past 30 years.
When he's not copying his mentor Buck Owens' fascination with commandeering the airwaves, Yoakam is prepping for the LSD Tour, a string of June and August dates with fellow rebels Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle.