Dwight Yoakam at WinStar World Casino
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Know how Waylon and Willie are lauded for leaving behind the "Nashville establishment" for the local Austin music scene? Dwight Yoakam did something similar, except you might call his exodus more "punk rock" than outlaw. When Country Music execs said they couldn't market his particular brand of honky tonk, Yoakam left for California and began performing his self-penned "hillbilly" songs in L.A.'s rock scene, helping forge the early days of "cowpunk." This was all BEFORE he went on to become to mean stepdad in 'Slingblade,' of course. And, before he went on to sell 25 million-plus records. The phrase "living legend" is tossed about too loosely, but no so in the case of Dwight "Hillbilly Cowpunk" Yoakam.