In the three-minute tune, he offers his beloved not only a waterfall but also a jellyfish, a giraffe, a rocket ship, etc., etc.“The tone of that guitar in that moment guided me into wandering off into that magic garden,” he says.

Meanwhile, on “Trying,” he attaches just a few words to a simple melody to invoke the spirit of Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley.

For example, he finally got around to finishing an old song titled “Take Hold Of My Hand,” which he started writing nearly two decades ago.

Hanging out with Kid Rock in Hollywood one day, they shook out the cobwebs in just a few hours.

Now the dynamic track sounds almost like an outtake from Yoakam’s triple-platinum 1993 album, .“That song had been languishing in an unfinished state for 19 years. So, what did Kid Rock bring to that writing session that made the song feel complete? For a few minutes, he explains that his own energy rotates in a circular motion, while Kid Rock’s is more of a back-and-forth energy, reflected through relentless pacing during the co-writing session.

I’d begun it in another part of my life, in another house of my life,” Yoakam says during an interview in Nashville. And despite 19 years in the archives, there’s suddenly a sense of determination in “Take Hold Of My Hand,” both in the persistent melody and the confident lyrics.

Although the pair had talked about co-writing something from scratch for a long time, Yoakam played him the scraps of the old song. Although he rarely co-writes, Yoakam calls that day “a terrific experience.”“I think he was in that ‘pushing it to fruition’ [mode], driving if you will,” Yoakam adds, “and I was balancing it.”Yoakam has done exceptionally well at balancing in his career.

Along with acting in major films like , Yoakam says it may be this: “I think all the songs, or at least a lot of them, have an expression of joy and happiness.That’s what’s communicated more than anything.”The flirtatious “Waterfall” was inspired by foraging through his guitar collection with his girlfriend and rediscovering a playful three-quarter acoustic model he hadn’t strummed in several years.He put a capo on it, which changed the resonance a little bit, and began fooling around with ridiculous and sweet lyrics.Yoakam opted to keep it that way instead of, well, brings Yoakam full circle beyond his musical vision, it’s because he’s now back on Warner Bros., where he launched nationally in 1986. 23, 1956, in Pikeville, Kentucky, and raised in Ohio.As a young man, he absorbed the music of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens as well as The Byrds and The Beatles. “It hadn’t quite congealed into what it would become in the early ’80s, which allowed me the foothold and the platform necessary for me to deliver my music out to the rest of the world.In his early 20s, he heeded the call of California.“In L. But even in the late ’70s there was such a great live music scene in L.