Though he may hail from the “City of Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia, and presently hang his hat in Nashville, John Oates has always had a fondness for the music streaming out of the Deep South. For his fifth solo album, one of the foremost purveyors of blue-eyed soul is set to mine the signature sounds of one of the most musically rich states in the union: Arkansas.
Backed by a brand new group of string players dubbed the Good Road Band, Oates assembled a record steeped in the Delta blues and old-time country flair. To give a sense of what his fans can expect from the project, today the singer shared the lead single, also titled “Arkansas,” a song flush with plucky mandolin melodies and rustic charm.
“I was invited to go to Wilson, Arkansas,” Oates told Rolling Stone, “and was inspired by the landscape where the cotton fields line the Mississippi River shore. My entire musical life has been influenced by the music that has flowed up that river from New Orleans through the Delta, and has had such an important sonic and cultural impact on America. It occurred to me that Arkansas was the last rural stop on the musical journey northward. I wanted both the song and video to reflect that.”
John Oates fifth solo album Arkansas is set to drop next month on February 2nd and is already available for pre-order here. You can check out the lead, eponymous single in the video above.