John Oates, of former Hall & Oates fame and current ‘former Hall & Oates fame’, will release his new album “Arkansas” next month, Rolling Stone reports.
You can check out the video for the album’s eponymous single, which has Oates standing in a field of cotton with a guitar, the sun setting behind him as it flashes the camera J.J. Abram-lens-flare style. Later he stares into the distance in that same field. The video then cuts to footage of a train made grainy in post-production.
Oates toll Rolling Stone the following about his inspiration:
“I was invited to go to Wilson, Arkansas,” says Oates, who lives four hours away in Nashville, “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.”
Wilson, Arkansas is the Delta town where Gaylon Lawrence Jr. — made wealthy by his family’s agri-business mega-corp The Lawrence Group — bought up a bunch of land and transformed a Delta town into his personal version of paradise.
Oates has described the album as “dixieland, dipped in bluegrass, and salted with Delta blues” and a tribute to his hero Mississippi John Hurt. Many of the songs are famous covers: from Stack O Lee (sometimes titled Stack-O-Lee or Stagger Lee or Stackalee) to Spike Driver Blues. But the title track, “Arkansas,” was written by Oates.
Oates’s tour of his album about the Natural State has no planned tour stops in the Natural state, according to Rolling Stone.