This year marks the 40th anniversary of their debut album, Whole Oats, and their music continues to inspire younger generations. Among the numerous bands who cite Hall and Oates as an influence are Gym Class Heroes, the Killers and Hot Chelle Rae.
“One on One”
In recent years, Hall’s and Oates’ solo work has honed in on what brought them together in the first place—songwriting. Other artists have scored with songs written by them, including Hall’s “Everytime You Go Away,” which they first recorded as a duo, but was made famous by Paul Young in 1985.
Hall released a solo album in 2011, Laughing Down Crying. His current projects include a monthly web series and nationally syndicated TV show, “Live from Daryl’s House.” On the show he performs with a mix of guest artists ranging from musical heavyweights to new faces. Among those who have joined him are Booker T and the MGs, Blind Boys of Alabama, Rob Thomas, Train, Cee Lo Green, Smokey Robinson, Jason Mraz, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and Neon Trees.
Since 1999, Oates has recorded four solo albums: Phunk Shui, 100 Miles of Life, Mississippi Mile and the live album, The Bluesville Sessions.
Oates and his wife split time between homes in Aspen and Nashville, where he’s busy working on his next solo project. He’s been collaborating with some of Music City’s most celebrated tunesmiths such as Craig Wiseman, Pat Alger and Nathan Chapman (best known for manning the boards for Taylor Swift). Oates has also been writing with revered artists including Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Vince Gill.
“Everybody I’ve written with is my favorite collaborator,” Oates said, “because everybody brings something different to the session, and the bar is set consistently high—everyone here is good. It’s really exciting.”
When he’s not teaming with veteran hitmakers, Oates enjoys nurturing younger artists who might one day take their place. He is co-producing and writing with Daphne Willis, and has collaborated with Chattanooga-area native Angel Snow, including inviting her to play at one of his favorite initiatives, the 7908 Aspen Songwriters Festival. Oates founded the event, which celebrates the craft by pairing established tunesmiths with up-and-coming songwriters for unique performances. Since it’s inception he has recruited performers Keb Mo, Shawn Colvin, Allen Toussaint, Matt Nathanson, Jim Lauderdale, Kenny Loggins and many more.
After 20 years in Colorado, Oates said he loves Tennessee life. “I love that it is so centrally located for touring,” he said. “It’s so easy for me to travel, especially to the east and Midwest, compared to Colorado. We’re spending a lot more time here. It’s such a great place to be for music. Nashville is on the upswing, it’s got a buzz. And Tennessee is a beautiful state.”
Hall and Oates play Memorial Auditorium on Monday, Dec. 10.