Stop by Nashville’s famed Station Inn or another of the city’s iconic venues and you may very well find Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member John Oates playing soulful roots music.
Although he’s best known as half of the superstar pop duo Hall & Oates, the New York native has spent more than 30 years carving a place for himself in the Nashville music scene. In addition to playing local showcases, benefit concerts and songwriters’ rounds, Oates has also collaborated with a host of Nashville musicians including Vince Gill, Jimmy Wayne, Jim Lauderdale, Sam Bush and Jon Randall. And in 2010, he and his wife bought a home in Music City.
Now Oates is ready to take his brand of Nashville country-roots-soul on the road (literally) with a new television show called Good Road to Follow. Oates is currently in discussions with networks about airing the program, which takes its title from one of his recent solo recordings. Viewers will follow Oates as he drives through America’s back roads in search of unique characters, towns, local food and most importantly, American roots music.
“Two things that have really defined my life over the years are the road and roots music,” Oates writes in a statement. “So this is my chance to combine those two forces into a show that will allow viewers to come along with me on a unique journey.”
Oates promises the rawest, most organic music — much of which has never been heard outside of isolated hollows where it began — will highlight each show. At the end of each episode, he’ll team up with the originators of the music to arrange and then play their songs. The new versions of the tunes will then be recorded and available for download at the end of each episode.
Oates is no stranger to no-frills travel. When he first joined forces with Daryl Hall to form Hall & Oates, they traveled between gigs in a used Pontiac GTO purchased from Oates’ father.