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Dwight Yoakam to play the Grove


This one just slipped in under the radar: Dwight Yoakam is returning to O.C.

The veteran country star, still garnering justifiable raves for September's 3 Pears, his first album of new material in seven years, will play Dec. 13 at City National Grove of Anaheim.

Tickets go on sale Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. Prices: $65 for front pit standing room, $55 for table seating (some but not all of which requires a $20 dinner deposit) and $45 for rear standing room.

Though it has a good bit of guest-star power – two tracks were co-produced by Beck, Kid Rock and Ashley Monroe of Pistol Annies turn up on other songs – 3 Pears is a bold, soul-deep statement from Yoakam, 56, an eclectic return-to-form that leapfrogs across styles with expert execution.

Better still, the assortment has had some commercial impact to match its critical reception, scoring the singer-songwriter's highest Billboard chart position ever, peaking at No. 18. (This Time, from 1993, his last collection to be so immediately celebrated and attract some crossover notice, reached No. 25.)

He's never been less than strong live, something his Stagecoach appearance in 2008 re-proved. The potential for a superior set at the Grove, a rich mix of old favorites and new gems, makes this gig a must-see for fans of authentic Americana.

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