The genius of Dwight Yoakam lies in the power of his appeal, a force that attracts serious rock 'n' rollers (he started out opening for punk bands) to country music diehards (Johnny Cash called him "my favorite male artist"). What unites these groups -- which also include hipsters, honky-tonkers and roots rockers -- is Yoakam's maverick blend of country, rock, Americana, pop and soul. He almost single-handedly saved country music from itself in the '80s, his "cowpunk" sound rescuing a genre that had gotten too slick. But after selling 25 million albums, he embarked on a distinguished acting career (Sling Blade, Panic Room, Wedding Crashers). Now Yoakam's come back to music, touring in support of his much anticipated upcoming album, Second Hand Heart, which Rolling Stone raves is stuffed with "his best songs in years."