Country Music Hall of Fame members the Oak Ridge Boys have recorded and released a jaunty rendition of Brandy Clark’s song “Pray to Jesus,” which will appear on their upcoming LP 17th Avenue Revival.
Like the group’s recent release “Brand New Star,” “Pray to Jesus” – originally written by Clark and Shane McAnally for her 12 Stories LP – continues the trend of recordings that were inspired by early Southern gospel meeting and mixing with rock and roll. Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb sought to retrace the band’s lengthy history as a gospel-singing quartet in order to explore old traditions in a new light.
The song kicks off with a shuffling beat and boogie-woogie piano, while the quartet of Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban enthusiastically croons the imagery-rich lyrics about ongoing hope for salvation or a stroke of luck. Coupled with the track’s 12-bar bass line and twangy, tape echo-drenched rockabilly guitar, the Oaks’ version adds a charming slant to Clark’s detailed, slice-of-life storytelling.
17th Avenue Revival, recorded by Cobb at legendary RCA Studio A, is set to release on March 16th via Lightning Rod Records.