The timing could not have been better for Dwight Yoakam to release his debut album, “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.,” in 1986.
Barely surviving the flaccid Urban Cowboy phase, country music was ripe for a return to hillbilly integrity. “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.” joined Randy Travis’ “Storms of Life” to usher in the New Traditionalist Movement and began the most creative period in modern country music history.
Yoakam, born in Kentucky in 1956 and raised in Ohio, had absorbed the musical influences swirling around him, including country, rock and bluegrass. “Guitars, Cadillacs” began a string of hit albums, including “Hillbilly Deluxe” and “Buenos Noches from a Lonely Room.” The latter featured a classic duet with country music legend Buck Owens, a pioneer of the Bakersfield sound Yoakam admired.
The Grammy-winning musician also has made his mark in television and films, appearing in the cult favorite “Sling Blade,” “The Newton Boys” and others.
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Music, though, is Yoakam’s first love, and his music retains the creativity and integrity that has made him more than just another guy with a guitar and cowboy hat. His latest CD, “Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars ...,” is his first bluegrass album and features covers of “Guitars, Cadillacs” and Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
Details: Yoakam will play at the Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St., Durham, at 8 p.m. Oct. 27. Tickets start at $74. For information, go to carolinatheatre.org.