Over the past decade, few acts in music have been more prolific than The Oak Ridge Boys. In addition to performing 150-plus shows each year, the vocal quartet has released eight albums – A Gospel Journey (2009), The Boys Are Back (2009), It’s Only Natural (2011), Back Home Again: Gospel Favorites (’12), the 2012 holiday CD, Christmas Time’s-A-Coming, the live album Boys Night Out (’14), Rock Of Ages: Hymns and Gospel Favorites (’15) and another holiday release, Celebrate Christmas (’16).
Every album, naturally, was important to the group, but a couple of years ago, The Oak Ridge Boys decided to set their sights on really making a statement with their next studio release.
“We were inducted [in 2015] into the Country Music Hall of Fame,” The Oak Ridge Boys bass vocalist Richard Sterban explained in a recent phone interview. “After that, we felt like we wanted to do something special, something different, something kind of monumental to commemorate now being members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.”
As Sterban, lead vocalist Duane Allen, tenor vocalist Joe Bonsall and baritone vocalist William Lee Golden pondered what kind of album project could achieve that lofty goal, one idea kept coming up. The group could work with producer Dave Cobb.
The Oak Ridge Boys first met and worked with Cobb on The Boys Are Back, and that experience in the studio had remained etched in the memories of the four singers.
“We were so excited about that project, because he took us down some roads musically we had never traveled before, like doing a cover of the White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army,’ and ‘Boom Boom’ [the John Lee Hooker blues classic]–songs we would not have done on our own,” Sterban said. “But Dave kind of just took us in that direction.”
Since that 2009 album, Cobb has become arguably the hottest producer in country/Americana music, … More