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John Oates cut his own path when putting together his latest album, Good Road to Follow. Instead of taking the traditional route and writing and recording a collection of songs, the recent inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with longtime partner Daryl Hall sought out some of his favorite collaborators and asked that they write just one song together. If it was good enough, they’d record it—no strings attached.
As he says with a laugh, “People took the bait.” Including artists as varied as pop group Hot Chelle Rae, Dobro maestro Jerry Douglas and Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill.
“I’ve known Vince for quite a while, but we’ve never worked together. We’ve done some charity events and jams together, where we’ve sat in on things, but never formally worked together,” says John, who laid out his pitch to Vince. “Vince, being a very smart guy, said, ‘Well, first we have to write a great song. If we write a great song, we’ll see where it takes us.’”
John set out for Vince’s home and the two wrote together in Vince’s living room, with only a pair of acoustic guitars.
The end result was the ethereal “Don’t Cross Me Wrong,” which made the final cut of Good Road to Follow.
“We cut the whole thing in one day at his home studio,” says John, still wowed by the backing vocals that manifested when he, Vince and singer Bekka Bramlett gathered around a single microphone.
“When you have Bekka and Vince singing background . . . wow,” says John, who jokes that he may isolate and release the vocal tracks. “I should. ’Cause it’s badass.”
For more on John Oates and Vince, pick up the May 5 issue of Country Weekly , on stands now.