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Music

Dwight Yoakam returns to Warners, new album slated for early 2012

Randy Lewis
Los Angeles Times (MCT)

LOS ANGELES—It's fairly common for a major label recording artist to switch to an indie label as time goes by and their impact on the charts waxes and wanes, which is just what happened to country singer-songwriter Dwight Yoakam in the '90s, after his seven-year streak of top 10 country singles slowed.

That makes it all the more unusual to get news Monday that Yoakam has not only returned from indie land, where he's been living musically in recent years, to a major label, but to the same parent company, Warner Music Group, he left a decade ago.

The 54-year-old Kentucky musician-turned-actor is slated to release a new album for Warner Bros. Nashville early next year, the company has announced. It will be produced by Yoakam and Joe Chiccarelli, who has worked with such alt-rock acts as My Morning Jacket, the Shins and the Strokes. Yoakam also has been recording some tracks with Beck.

"When I heard his current music, I was blown away," Warner Music Nashville's President and Chief Executive John Esposito said in a statement. "I think that it is some of the best music he has ever done, and I'm incredibly proud to have him back at Warner Bros. Records."

His most recent studio collection was "Dwight Sings Buck," his 2007 salute to his early idol and mentor Buck Owens, on New West Records/Via Records. It's been a quarter century since Yoakam's acclaimed major-label debut, "Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.," came out.

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