Dwight Yoakam

Dwight Yoakam and the Doobie Brothers Head the Star Studded 2013 Belleayre Music Festival

by Crispin Kott

The Belleayre Music Festival kicks off in July, boasting another stellar lineup and offering one of the region’s most awe-​​inspiring landscapes. Among the performers this summer are country legend Dwight Yoakam and classic rock hit-​​makers the Doobie Brothers.

Yoakam is something of an outlaw, even by country music standards. Eschewing the pop-​​friendly Nashville scene, Yoakam struck out to Los Angeles to make a name for himself, favoring a jukeboxes and bar brawls honkytonk sound and playing in the city’s nascent punk rock clubs nearly as often as anywhere else. The experience informed his music, which had an air of menace and passion, and his audience responded.

The Kentucky-​​bred Yoakam wasn’t satisfied with being an albeit wildly popular singer-​​songwriter, of course, as he branched out into film directing and acting, the latter giving him a chance to turn his aforementioned menace into a memorable villain in the Jodie Foster thriller Panic Room, and as an abusive boyfriend in Sling Blade.

But with Dwight Yoakam it almost always comes back to the music, and as even his most recent album proves, he’s still as much about busting the country genre wide open as he is creating singularly compelling songs. Released last September, 3 Pears features collaborations with everyone from Beck to Kid Rock, though the sound is all Yoakam. For the chance to hear it, and likely a raft of his greatest hits, hit the Belleayre Music Festival on Saturday, July 6. Tickets range from $26 for lawn seats to between $56 – 76 for tent seats. A “super premium” ticket is also available for $95.

The Doobie Brothers’ impact on music stretches further back than Yoakam’s, though it’s possible it may have been every bit as deep. Founded in San Jose, California in the early ‘70s, the Doobie Brothers built on the promise of genre-​​melding pioneers like Santana and Mandrill, adding straight up soul music to the rock & roll template. So natural was the mix that success and a string of hit singles was soon to follow. Indeed, it’s difficult to look back on listening to the radio back in those bell-​​bottomed days and not immediately conjure up “Listen to the Music,” “Taking it to the Streets” or “What a Fool Believes.”

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The Doobie Brothers went through a long hiatus, broken in 2010 with the release of their 13th album, World Gone Crazy. Fans hoping for a contemporary take on the group’s indelible chemistry weren’t disappointed, and in many ways it was as though they’d never left.

The Doobie Brothers perform at the Belleayre Music Festival on Saturday, July 20. Tickets range from $26 for lawn seats to between $56 – 76 for tent seats. A “super premium” ticket is also available for $95.

But that’s not all, folks. The Belleayre Music Festival also features performances by vocal legends the Manhattan Transfer (July 13), Paquito D’Rivera and the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band (August 3) and stage and film legend Ben Vereen (August 17.) In fact, the bill is so full of musicians, comedians and everything in between that it’s probably best to simply point you in the direction of the Belleayre Music Festival website: www​.belleayremusic​.org

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