Quirky tunes, acting from Dwight Yoakam

Courtesy PhotoAdventurous album: Dwight Yoakam’s latest is “3 Pears.”

Alt-country kingpin and part-time thespian Dwight Yoakam lately has been offered prestigious acting gigs, like playing Gen. George Meade in the Civil War miniseries “To Appomattox” and Doc Miles in the Jason Statham franchise “Crank.”

He even was briefly attached to Gore Verbinski’s still-filming reboot of “The Lone Ranger,” but after false starts, Yoakam, who plays Hardly Strictly Bluegrass on Sunday, opted to finish his new album “3 Pears” instead.

See a list of other Hardly Strictly Bluegrass headliners here.

#link_box { width: 150px; height: auto; margin: 0; padding: 0; margin: 10px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 10px; background-color: #fbfade; /* ecru – light yellow */ border: 1px solid #343a25; /* green – for summer arts */ float: left; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; } #link_box img, #link_box a { border 0px; border-style: none; outline: none; } #link_box h1 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #8A0808; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; } #link_box h2 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #000; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 10px; text-align: center; } #link_box ul { list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0; border: none; } #link_box li { margin: 0px padding: 0px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; } #link_box li a { display: block; padding: 5px 5px 5px 15px; /* Padding for bullet */ /* border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; */ color: #000; width: 100%; width: auto; /* height: auto; */ /* border: 1px solid blue; */ margin: 0px; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 14px; text-decoration: none; } #link_box li a: before { /* background-position: top left; */ } #link_box li a:hover { background-color: #ddd; color: #000; }

One of his acting roles, though, stands out. He plays Bruce, a mysterious stranger from the past in “Wilfred,” the dark comedy on FX starring Jason Gann as the talking-dog title character.

Yoakim says it’s not easy delivering straight lines to the squirrelly Australian Gann, attired in a flop-eared dog suit. A recent script involved Bruce putting Elijah Wood’s hapless Ryan protagonist through an elaborate truth or dare that bordered on torture.

But “Wilfred” producers, huge Yoakam fans, imagined him as a perfectly droll Bruce. “So I watched the pilot episode and said, ‘Sure! Sign me up! I’ll come over there and see where Bruce lives, whatever he is. Because Wilfred never cops to whether Bruce really exists or not,” says the “Sling Blade” actor.

Nowadays, Yoakam, 55, delights in such left-field surprises.  After years in the indie-imprint wilderness, he re-inked with his old imprint Warner Bros. and self-produced “3 Pears,” his most adventurous effort since 1993’s definitive “This Time.”

The first single, “Take Hold of my Hand,” was an unfinished 20-year-old fragment until he and Kid Rock retooled it in three hours.

Pistol Annies frontwoman Ashley Monroe co-penned the forlorn “It’s Never Alright,” and, in the record’s oddest teamup,  Beck Hansen co-produced two echoey numbers, “Missing Heart” and “A Heart Like Mine.”

“Beck and I are both way into the molecular energy that’s still in those old, historic rooms, like East West Studios, where I cut a lot of this record,” says Yoakam. “He’s also connected in a very visceral sense to music; that’s what I noticed the first time we met in my office.”

The title cut of “3 Pears” and the song “Waterfall” are two “Puff, The Magic Dragon”-hazy oddities inspired by John Lennon and Tommy Smothers, respectively.  

The disc is so quirky, “all it needed was Martin Sheen to narrate it, like ‘Apocalypse Now,’” says Yoakam, who received an ACM Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award for his 28-year,

California-based career. He adds, “But, as Minnie Pearl said, ‘I’m just so happy to be here.’ I’ve had a really good run.”

artsbeckentertainmentHardly Strictly Bluegrass FestivalPop Music & Jazz

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Police release an image a cracked windshield on a Prius that Cesar Vargas allegedly tried to carjack. Vargas, who was shot by police a short time later, can be seen in videos jumping on the windshield and pushing a Muni passenger who disembarked from a bus. (Courtesy SFPD
SFPD releases videos of deadly police shooting

Cesar Vargas killed after reports of carjacking with knife

New legislation would make sure supportive housing tenants don’t pay more than 30 percent of their income for rent.. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner))
Supportive housing tenants could get more help paying the rent

Supportive housing tenants struggling to pay rent could soon see their payments… Continue reading

Organizers of the San Francisco International Arts Festival had planned to use parts of Fort Mason including the Parade Ground, Eucalyptus Grove and Black Point Battery to host performances by about a dozen Bay Area arts groups. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Arts festival sues city over permit denial

Organizer says outdoor performances should be treated like demonstrations, religious gatherings

An oversight body for San Francisco’s mental health programs may be restructured after questions were raised about its management and lack of effectiveness. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Behavioral health oversight body looks for new start — and staff — after mismanagement

Members of an oversight body for San Francisco’s behavioral health programs said… Continue reading

The City requires the recycling or reuse of debris material removed from a construction project site. <ins>(Emma Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
<ins></ins>
Permits proposed for haulers of construction debris to achieve zero-waste

San Francisco plans to tighten regulations on the disposal of construction and… Continue reading

Most Read