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A Long Way Home

Dwight Yoakam

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Album Review

As he entered his second decade of recording, Dwight Yoakam began to take more time between records. A three-year gap separated A Long Way Home from Gone — the last time he went that long between albums of new material was 1990's If There Was a Way and 1993's This Time. As it happened, This Time was a masterpiece, a breakthrough of sorts in that it expanded Yoakam's already large stylistic trickbag. A Long Way Home doesn't rank with This Time, probably because it is an outgrowth of that leap forward instead of the leap itself, but like Gone, it is a rich, diverse, continually impressive collection of timeless songs. Yoakam and his producer/guitarist Pete Anderson keep things interesting by never following conventions — "These Arms" has a Bakersfield foundation, but it's graced by sweeping Nashville strings that bring the song into new territory. That's just one of many unexpected touches that make A Long Way Home a rewarding listen, even if it doesn't consistently reach the heights of such previous masterstrokes as Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., Buenos Noches From a Lonely Room, and This Time.

Biography

Born: October 23, 1956 in Pikeville, KY

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With his stripped-down approach to traditional honky tonk and Bakersfield country, Dwight Yoakam helped return country music to its roots in the late '80s. Like his idols Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and Hank Williams, Yoakam never played by Nashville's rules; consequently, he never dominated the charts like his contemporary Randy Travis. Then again, Travis never played around with the sound and style of country music like Yoakam. On each of his records, he twists around the form enough to make it...
Full bio