“This is the record I have always wanted to make … with the band to bring it to life… after all these years I feel I’ve finally been able to capture the sound that’s in my head.” – John Oates
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member John Oates has teamed with an amazing group of accomplished and rising stars in the Americana music world to bring his new album, Arkansas, to life. Scheduled for a February release, the project is his first for Thirty Tigers.
The sonic glue that holds the project together is called the Good Road Band. An impressive lineup consisting of Sam Bush on mandolin, Russ Pahl on pedal steel, Guthrie Trapp on electric guitar, Steve Mackey on bass, Nat Smith on cello, and Josh Day on drums and percussion.
The project originally began as a tribute to Oates’ idol, Mississippi John Hurt. Then expanded and evolved organically to include other songs that were contemporary with John Hurt’s early recording career in the 1920s and 30s before his re-discovery during the folk revival of the 1960s. This unique collection of songs were captured during a series of Nashville recording sessions and draw from a wide range of Oates’ musical influences. Asked about the style and sound of Arkansas, he says, “It’s like Dixieland, dipped in bluegrass, and salted with Delta blues.”
With this incredible band, Oates shines a light on music from America’s past long before the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. Fresh interpretations include the Emmett Miller classic “Anytime” from 1924 as well as the Jimmie Rodgers tune, “Miss the Mississippi and You,” from 1932. Reimagined traditional Delta, country blues and ragtime selections salute legendary artists like Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Blake.
The title track “Arkansas” and “Dig Back Deep” both John Oates original compositions, blend seamlessly with the traditional roots material. Taken together, this record becomes a retrospective of American popular song.
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