This concert wouldn't be possible without the support of our sponsors. Please take the time to get to know them and support them as much as they support the Emporia Granada Theatre!
Jon & Christy Stewart
RC Trucking Incorporated
Christin Black State Farm of Olathe, KS
Porter Cattle Company
Ricky Fuggit will be opening up for Dwight Yoakam at 8pm.
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Yoakam's 1986 debut album, Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc., was well-received by critics and country music fans alike, and spawned a hit remake of Johnny Horton's "Honky Tonk Man" and the singer's own composition "Guitars, Cadillacs, and Hillbilly Music." This first album quickly went platinum, and the next four went gold; Dwight Yoakam had clearly become a major country music star.
Yoakam released four more albums in the next four years—1987's Hillbilly Deluxe, 1988's Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room, 1989's Just Lookin' for a Hit, and 1990's If There Was a Way—and managed to keep his loyal traditional country music fans satisfied. During this early peak, he was able to briefly revitalize the careers of two of his country idols. He enticed Buck Owens out of semi-retirement to record one of the legendary singer-songwriter's early tunes, "Streets of Bakersfield." Not only did their recording hit number one on the country charts, but Yoakam and Owens toured together with great success. In 1992 Yoakam convinced Roger Miller, one of country and pop's cleverest tunesmiths, to write a song with him. The result was the number seven charting "It Only Hurts When I Cry," a final triumph for Miller, who died of cancer a short time later.
Despite this solidification of his country stardom, there were fans and critics who expressed a desire for the singer to expand his musical horizons, abandon his characteristic honky-tonk, rural sound, and adopt a more sophisticated rock-driven contemporary country music sound. Yoakam's response was the 1993 album This Time, and he succeeded, according to Entertainment Weekly's Alanna Nash, in "pull[ing] off a near miracle: Staying stone country for his core following, and turning progressive enough for radio, without alienating either audience." Songs such as "A Thousand Miles from Nowhere" and "King of Fools" were especially lauded, and Yoakam himself, in an article by People contributor Tony Scherman, characterized the type of music he played as "country rock," but asserted: "I'll never quit playing country music, or at least acknowledging it, always, as the cornerstone of what I am." In a review in Maclean's, Nicholas Jennings declared that Yoakam's "songwriting … ranks among the best in country music."
Despite his busy schedule as an actor on stage and screen, in 1995 Yoakam managed to release Dwight Live, which consisted of versions of songs that were recorded live during concert performances, and Gone, which continued the trend Yoakam had started with This Time. Both albums were well regarded by critics and popular with fans. Tony Scherman, writing in Entertainment Weekly, called Dwight Live a "most satisfying country record." Guitar Player's Art Thompson also offered a glowing review of the live album, and advised his readers that this was "the music of dented pickup trucks and funky bars, not the silly tight-Wranglers scene that dominates today's 'young country.'" Reviews of Gone were largely positive, but some critics asserted, as did Alanna Nash in her Entertainment Weekly review, that "he's so busy getting the synthesis right that he forgot the soul."