John Oates Teams With All-Star Americana Band For ‘Arkansas’

John Oates has teamed with some stars in the Americana music world to bring his new album, Arkansas, to life. The project, his first for Thirty Tigers, is scheduled for release Feb. 2.  

The album 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 featuring a wide range of Oates’ musical influences. Oates describes it as “Dixieland, dipped in bluegrass, and salted with Delta blues.”

“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,” said Oates.

The album was recorded at Addiction Studios in Nashville and produced by Oates and David Kalmusky, who also engineered and mixed it. The “Good Road Band” featured on the project includes 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 on the new project, with fresh interpretations including the Emmett Miller classic “Anytime” from 1924, as well as the Jimmie Rodgers tune, “Miss the Mississippi and You,” from 1932. Re-imagined traditional Delta, country blues and ragtime selections salute legendary artists like Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Blake. Two new original tracks by Oates blend seamlessly with the traditional roots material, as well as John’s deep catalog of Hall and Oates hits. 

Arkansas is available for advance order through e-retailers and a Pledge Music campaign that includes autographed vinyl, limited edition exclusives, hats, shirts, and more.


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Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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