Dixieland, dipped in bluegrass & salted with Delta blues.
JOHN OATES is one half of the best-selling duo of all time, Hall & Oates, as well as an accomplished solo artist. Singing from the time he could talk and playing the guitar since the age of five, John was destined to be a musician.
Soaking up the sounds of the ’60s, John was influenced by the nascent folk scene, bluegrass, delta blues, and ragtime guitar styles, while also immersing himself in R&B legends such as Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, The Temptations, Curtis Mayfield, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. One of his biggest mentors was his guitar teacher Jerry Ricks, who had spent time on the road with Mississippi John Hurt and Son House, and introduced John to the music of Doc Watson and Reverend Gary Davis, passing down their signature finger and flatpicking styles.
John Oates met Daryl Hall while attending Temple University and the two began collaborating and playing music together, marking the beginning of their historic partnership. Since their formation in the early ’70s, Daryl Hall & John Oates have gone on to record 21 albums, which have sold over 80 million units, making them the most successful duo in rock history. They have scored 10 No. 1 records, over 20 Top 40 hits, and have toured the world for decades. In addition to their numerous American Music, MTV awards, and multiple Grammy nominations, in 2005 they were inducted into the American Songwriters Hall of Fame and in May of 2008 were presented the prestigious BMI Icon Award for their outstanding career achievement in songwriting. In April 2014, Hall & Oates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Since embarking on a long awaited solo career in 1999, John has recorded five solo albums and has become a diverse musician and songwriter active in the Nashville community and beyond. He was the creator and executive producer for the “7908 the Aspen Songwriters Festival” and teamed up with Jim James (My Morning Jacket) to curate the Bonnaroo Super Jam with special guests Britney Howard, Billy Idol, R. Kelly, Larry Graham and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
John’s most recent album, Arkansas, was released in February 2018. Originally inspired by the music and legacy of the legendary Mississippi John Hurt, the project expanded to encompass other artists and styles that represent the dawn of American popular music from the early 1920s and 1930s. Assembling an band of all star Nashville musicians, 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 from the early 1920s to 1930s. When asked to describe the sound, John says, “It’s like Dixieland, dipped in bluegrass, and salted with Delta blues.” This album has opened a path for Oates to rediscover his earliest influences. While the show will mainly be songs from Oates’ latest album, Arkansas, he is known to play an ’80s pop song or two!