For the first time in a recording career that stretches back to the mid-1980s, Dwight Yoakam took the entire production mantle on his shoulders in the studio.

For the first time in a recording career that stretches back to the mid-1980s, Dwight Yoakam took the entire production mantle on his shoulders in the studio. The resulting effort, "Blame the Vain," will be released June 14 as his first album for the independent New West label.

"There's a lot of reckless joy on this album," Yoakam says of the 12-track set, on which he is accompanied by guitarist Keith Gattis, keyboardist Skip Edwards, bassist Taras Prodaniuk, drummer Mitch Marine and percussionist Bobbye Hall. "We never left a session that wasnít flat-out fun."

Material on the set ranges from the shuffle of "I Want To Love Again" ("I have to pay tribute to Buck [Owens] and the Bakersfield sound on every album," Yoakam says) to the "psycho-hillbilly squall" of "Intentional Heartache" to the country rock "She'll Remember," the intro of which the artist describes as "an homage to the Moody Blues [and] ELP via Monty Python."

"Blame the Vain" is the follow-up to 2003's "Population Me" (Audium/Koch), which debuted at No. 8 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and No. 75 on The Billboard 200. Last year's "The Very Best of Dwight Yoakam" (Reprise/Rhino) bowed at No. 10 on the country chart and No. 87 on The Billboard 200.

Yoakam plans to hit the road in support of the new album, beginning June 30 in Alpine, Calif. A quick early July trip to Europe will be followed by more North American dates. Beforehand, he's slated to play an April 29 show in Helotes, Texas, and a June 11 date in West Hollywood, Calif.

All the music won't stop this occasional actor from being seen on the big screen in 2005. He makes a cameo in July's "The Wedding Crashers," which stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan and appears opposite Penelope Cruz in "Bandidas," due in North American theaters in September. He also stars with Salma Hayek in the Tommy Lee Jones-written/directed feature "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada," due out later this year.

Here is the "Blame the Vain" track list:

"Blame the Vain"
"Lucky That Way"
"Intentional Heartache"
"Does It Show"
"Three Good Reasons"
"Just Passin' Time"
"I'll Pretend"
"She'll Remember"
"I Wanna Love Again"
"When I First Came Here"
"Watch Out"
"The Last Heart in Line"

Here are Yoakam's tour dates:

April 29: Helotes, Texas (Floores Country Store)
June 11: West Hollywood, Calif. (House of Blues)
June 30: Alpine, Calif. (Viejas Concerts in the Park)
July 2-3: Las Vegas (Cannery Casino Hotel)
July 7: Vinstray, Norway (Kaaja)
July 10: Emmen, Netherlands (Promovillage)
July 12: Cork, Ireland (Showgrounds)
July 16: Florence, Ind. (Belterra Casino & Resort)
July 21: Green Bay, Wis. (Oneida Casino)
July 23: Grove City, Ohio (Beulah Park)
July 28-29: Onamia, Minn. (Grand Casino Mille Lacs)
Aug. 4: Ruston, La. (Rabb's Steakhouse)
Aug. 6: Fort Worth, Texas (Billy Bob's)
Aug. 12: Hankinson, N.D. (Dakota Magic)
Aug. 13: Fort Yates, N.D. (Prairie Knights Casino)
Sept. 3: Hiawassee, Ga. (Anderson Music Hall)
Sept. 29: Rama, Ontario (Casino Rama)

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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