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Yoakam brings twang to Vail

Randy Wyrickrwyrick@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyDwight Yoakam plays Vail's Ford Park Friday night.
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VAIL, Colorado – James Deighan used to cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway with his Cadillac convertible’s top down and Dwight Yoakam blasting from the stereo.The top goes down again Friday when Yoakam plays a concert at Ford Park as part of Vail Snow Daze.”Dwight Yoakam has an iconic association beyond his music, and his music hits more than country and western,” Deighan said, events producer with Highline Sports and Entertainment.It wasn’t that long ago that Yoakam and Deighan were chasing separate rainbows around Los Angeles. For Yoakam, the pot of gold was success as a singer/songwriter and actor. For Deighan it was running a business that gave people like Yoakam a crowd to play for.They both found their gold.

Something for everyoneHighline and the two major events they put on each year – Snow Daze and Spring Back to Vail – attract what we’ll describe as varied performers.Yukon Kornelius played last year. Kid Rock headlined Spring Back a couple years ago. Snoop Dogg helped get Spring Back started five years ago.”We’re trying to get something for everyone who loves Vail, which runs a vast gamut,” Deighan said.This year means Yoakam will be on the same stage as O.A.R. and Weezer. Mix Master Mike kicked things off Thursday night on Meadow Drive. “It’s something different,” Deighan said about this year’s lineup. “We’re always striving to bring the widest variety of entertainment to the valley – something for everyone.”

Country & rockVanity Fair said, “Yoakam strides the divide between rock’s lust and country’s lament.”He was the only artist to appear this year at both indie rock extravaganza Coachella and at country music festival Stagecoach.So, how does a gig like Snow Daze nail an act like Dwight Yoakam?”We have strong relationships with many of the booking agencies around the country, and they make suggestions. His name popped up and we liked the idea,” Deighan said. “We ran it by some people and collected some feedback. They liked it, too, and we decided to go for it.”And High Line’s relationship with the ski company is huge, Deighan said.”Vail Mountain makes this happen. We would not be able to do this without them. It’s their advertising and marketing that makes it so successful,” he said.Highline is running three different local events this week. There’s a charity event in Vail for the Saddle Up Foundation designed to help children with extreme disabilities by putting them on horses. Larkburger, another client, will celebrate its fourth anniversary.And of course there’s Snow Daze, which has now been around for five years.



Singer/songwriter/actorYoakam is Kentucky-born, and Ohio-raised. He was too country for Nashville in the mid-’80s, but not for the rest of the world.Yoakam has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, He has 12 gold albums and nine platinum or multi-platinum albums, including the triple platinum “This Time.” More than 30 singles have charted, with 18 going top 20, including the hits “Honky Tonk Man,” “I Sang Dixie,” “It Only Hurts When I Cry,” “Fast as You” and “Thousand Miles from Nowhere.” He has two Grammys and 21 nominations.Yoakam’s film career started with a role as a truck driver in John Dahl’s “Red Rock West” in 1992. He followed that as Doyle Hargraves in the Academy Award-winning film “Sling Blade.” He also performed in the box office hit “Panic Room,” and in Tommy Lee Jones’ Cannes Film Festival award-winning “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.”Then there’s Yoakam the entrepreneur. Buck Owens joked with Yoakam about creating something special for the opening of Owens’ Crystal Palace club and museum. Yoakam came up with a brand of fictitious biscuits, dubbed Dwight Yoakam’s Bakersfield Biscuits. So of course the Bakersfield Biscuit and Dry Goods Company is now a national brand with dozens of products in stores across the country.He brings his tour and his biscuits to Vail Friday.


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