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An intimate evening with John Oates

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Concert is centerpiece of Lambertville — New Hope Winter Festival

STORY WRITTEN BY FERN BRODKIN 
For 21st Century Media

You’ve most certainly heard of John Oates if you know anything about pop music. He is, of course, one half of Hall & Oates. In their career the duo recorded 21 albums which have sold over 80 million units, making them the most successful duo in rock history. And among the many honors they’ve received, last year they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Hall & Oates continue to tour together, yet both members also are active with solo projects. John Oates will bring his trio to New Hope on Jan. 23 as part of the Lambertville — New Hope Winter Festival. Proceeds from the concert and all ticketed Winter Festival events will benefit area community and social service organizations. Last year’s festival raised more than $45,000. FOR A LINK TO FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS CLICK HERE
In a phone interview from his home in Colorado, Oates described his latest projects, the CD “Good Road to Follow” (Jack Records, 2014) and his upcoming special “Another Good Road,” which will be released on DVD on Jan. 20 and which will debut on Palladia on Jan. 24.joates
“I had recorded… ‘Good Road to Follow’ last year, (which) started out as a series of digital singles that I released over a 6-month period of time,” said Oates. “It was critically acclaimed and it made a lot of Top 10 lists on various music sites. I really enjoyed making that album. It was personally very satisfying. I put a lot of hard work into (it) and I wanted to take it to another level, so I thought getting it on TV might be a good idea. And Daryl [Hall] of course has been on Palladia with his TV show called ‘Live at Daryl’s House.’
“I decided to call it ‘Another Good Road’ and I went into a studio in Nashville with a band and we played a lot of the songs live, and I actually played some new songs as well. And then we put a lot of lifestyle footage in, stuff that I’m doing where I live in Colorado in the mountains and on the ranch. It’s kind of a little glimpse inside my personal life and where I’m coming from musically.”
As for the show in New Hope, Oates will be performing with guitarist Shane Theriot, who Hall & Oates fans may recognize from their touring band, and percussionist Johnny Richardson. The concert will be a more in-depth exploration into the musical world of John Oates.
“My solo performances and the things that I do solo are very different from the things that I do with Daryl. My show is much more personal. I tell a lot of stories. I talk a lot. I give the background and tell anecdotes and create a setting for the songs.”
The show will include “some of the Hall & Oates hits, of course, and a lot of my solo material. And I play a lot of traditional music. I play stuff that I liked as a kid growing up — Delta blues, roots music — that was a big part of making me who I am as a musician.”
He adds: “It’s very intimate. I engage the audience a lot. It’s one thing to hear a big hit record like some of the Hall & Oates hits like ‘Maneater’ or ‘She’s Gone’ or ‘Out of Touch’… everyone knows those songs. People have heard them for years and years. But very few people actually know the background to those songs. So when I do a solo show I talk about that. It’s showing where I come from, the things that meant something to me as a little kid that made me who I am as a musician, through the Hall & Oates era, right up to today and the newer songs that I’m doing.
“And when you hear all this music in that kind of context it makes a lot more sense. People (say) ‘oh, OK I get it. I see that they made a bunch of pop songs but Daryl and John are also individuals who have their own musical influences, not just those big hits.’ I want to make sure that people understand that I’m more than just those big hit records that everyone associates Hall & Oates with.”

John Oates. Photo by Juan Patino Photography

John Oates.
Photo by Juan Patino Photography

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