|photo: Philip Murphy|
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The project originally began as a tribute to Oates' idol, Mississippi John Hurt. During a series of Nashville recording sessions, it evolved organically to become a unique collection drawing from a wide range of Oates' musical influences. Asked about the style and sound of Arkansas, John says, "It's like Dixieland, dipped in bluegrass, and salted with Delta blues."
Recording was done at Addiction Studios in Nashville with production by Oates and David Kalmusky who also engineered and mixed it. The band consists of Sam Bush on mandolin, Russ Pahl on pedal steel, Guthrie Trapp on electric guitar, Steve Mackey on bass, Nathaniel Smith on cello, and Josh Day on drums and percussion.
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.
"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," says Oates.
Two new original songs by Oates blend seamlessly with the traditional roots material, as well as John's deep catalog of Daryl Hall and John Oates hits. Taken together, Oates' music becomes a retrospective of American popular song.
My Creole Belle
Pallate Soft and Low
Miss the Mississippi and You
Stack O Lee
That'll Never Happen No More
Dig Back Deep
Lord Send Me
Spike Driver Blues