While fans of Dwight Yoakam and Eric Church no doubt enjoyed seeing the two share the same bill on Church’s Outsiders World Tour this winter, they missed out on the pair performing together. Blame it on bad timing.
Yoakam had even picked the song for the two to play: “I told him one night, we should do ‘The Last Time,’ the Stones song,” says Yoakam, who calls his 38-date swing with Church “fun all the way through.” Unfortunately, his suggestion never moved from the talking stage to the performance stage. “The opportunity didn’t present itself. It never actually happened. That’s about as close as it got. He was on the way to the stage, I was coming off and we’d be like, ‘We oughta do it’,” but it never worked out,” Yoakam recalls.
Perhaps Church was daunted by Yoakam’s last singing partner on the Rolling Stones classic — Tom Jones. In 1995, Yoakam hopped on stage with the legendary vocalist at the House of Blues in Los Angeles to take on the loping country rocker. “I told [Eric] I did it with Tom Jones and he just cracked up and walked on and said, ‘Oh man, I don’t know if I could top something you did with Tom Jones’.”
As far as the two reuniting in the future? Yoakam says they have “kicked around, talked about singing something together. . . It depends upon the divergent paths of individual artists and whether they collide again. It’s always open for interpretation.”
In the meantime, both have recently found other choice partners with whom to duet: Yoakam joined Brandy Clark on her ballad “Hold My Hand” on the Grammy Awards — a performance that spiked the song significantly on both Pandora and Spotify. Church performs on Keith Urban’s new single, “Raise ‘Em Up.”
Yoakam has now turned his attention to his new album, Second Hand Heart, out April 14th. (Hear the title track here.) The singer produced the project alongside Chris Lord-Alge and wrote eight of its 10 tracks. One of the only two outside songs is a rollicking new arrangement for “Man of Constant Sorrow,” the traditional folk tune introduced to a new generation by the 2000 movie O Brother, Where Art Thou.