Yoakam, Womack headline Hillbilly Days kickoff concert

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PIKEVILLE – The East Kentucky Exposition Center announced this week that two country music superstars will headline the 2016 Hillbilly Days concert lineup.

The Hillbilly Days kickoff concert will feature Dwight Yoakam and special guest Lee Ann Womack on Saturday, April 16. The show will begin at 8 p.m.

Tickets went on sale today at the Expo Center box office and all Ticketmaster locations.

“We're so excited to bring Dwight back to eastern Kentucky,” Expo General Manager Cindy Collins said. “This is his first appearance at the Expo.”

Tickets, all reserved seating, are priced at $59.50, $49.50 and $39.50.

 “In another time and place,” sings Dwight Yoakam on the buoyant “In Another World,” the opening track on Second Hand Heart, the brilliant new album that takes the pioneering honky-tonker back to Warner Bros./Reprise, where he began his major-label recording career thirty years ago.

Yoakam's distinctive, supple vocals, accented with his Kentucky croon, sound as strong today as they did on his debut, 1985's Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc.

Its release immediately yielded hit singles, and over the course of some 21 albums – totaling more than 25 million in sales worldwide – Yoakam has continued to passionately sing, write, and play music brimming with hard country and rock & roll.

Second Hand Heart was self-produced by Yoakam, and reflects where he's been, but even more so, where he's going: 'In Another World' guided the rest of the album,” says Yoakam. “It became its statement – about surviving and hope.”

“When you're around Dwight, you get this sense of urgency,” explains Warner Bros. VP of A&R Lenny Waronker, executive producer of Second Hand Heart. “He's like somebody who's just starting his career – almost like this is his first record. He's on 'rewind' in a way. There's a certain kind of energy, power, that makes it sound so youthful. It's very unique. A lot of it goes back to his main strengths: his vocal, which is unchanged, and his songwriting. Plus, the power of the guitar playing and the power of the songs add up to a really wonderful record.”

Womack's “I Hope You Dance” was a major crossover music hit, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Country Chart and the Top 15 of the Billboard Hot 100, in 2000, becoming her signature song.

When Womack emerged as a contemporary country artist in 1997, her material resembled that of Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette, except for the way Womack's music mixed an old fashioned style with contemporary elements.

Her 2000 album I Hope You Dance had an entirely different sound, using pop music elements instead of traditional country. It wasn't until the release of There's More Where That Came From in 2005 that Womack returned to recording traditional country music.

Presently, Womack has released a total of six studio albums and two compilations. Four of her studio albums have received a Gold certification or higher. Additionally, she has received five Academy of Country Music Awards, five Country Music Association Awards, and a Grammy Award. She has sold over six million albums worldwide

For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000 or 606-444-5500.

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