Label: Thirty Tigers
Release date: February 2, 2018
John Oates has teamed up with an group of accomplished and rising stars in the Americana music world to bring his new album, Arkansas, to life.
The project originally began as a tribute to Oates’ idol, Mississippi John Hurt. It evolved organically, during a series of Nashville recording sessions, into a unique retrospective collection drawing 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.”
The title track is propelled by a driving production that frames evocative images of the mist rising off the mighty Mississippi River and the expansiveness of the cotton fields in American’s heartland. With the essence of roots music at its core, vintage and modern recording techniques are woven throughout the album. A subtle yet unmistakable pop sensibility makes the record a landmark in Oates’ esteemed career.
The sonic glue that holds the project together is called THE GOOD ROAD BAND. The impressive lineup consists of an all star ensemble of amazing Nashville musicians. Their credits include recording and touring with artists like Don Henley, Pretenders, Blake Shelton, Dan Auerbach, Kacey Musgraves, Sam Bush, The Wallflowers, Dolly Parton, Bela Fleck, Florence + the Machine, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Florida Georgia Line, Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Vince Gill, Jennifer Nettles, and Sarah Jarosz. Their versatility has given this talented group a reputation that attracts even more guest stars wanting to sit in.
Combine that ensemble with Oates’ warm and personal storytelling and you have a one-of-a-kind experience that is authentic and unforgettable.
With this incredible band, Oates shines a light on popular songs 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 classic 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. Four new original songs by Oates (with co-writers such as Jim Lauderdale, Jeff Black and Sam Bush) blend seamlessly with the traditional roots material as well as with Oates’ deep catalog of Hall and Oates hits, creating a show that becomes a retrospective of American popular song.