Interviews

Interview: Dailey & Vincent talk working with Dolly Parton, Christmas album The Sounds of Christmas, their Christmas tour, all things Christmasey and more

 

Get in the spirit of Christmas early with Multi-GRAMMY® nominated duo Dailey & Vincent. Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent who make up Dailey and Vincent have just released their first ever Christmas album; Dailey & Vincent: The Sounds of Christmas.

The festive album debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard Holiday Albums chart and they are the only country, bluegrass and gospel act in the Top Ten. The exciting, seasonal album is released through BMG and as well as landing on the Holiday album charts it also became No. 1 on Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart. To order Dailey & Vincent: The Sounds of Christmas, click HERE.

The festivities don’t stop at an album release, Dailey & Vincent also filmed a nationally broadcast television Christmas concert special, four all-new Christmas episodes of “The Dailey & Vincent Show” on RFD-TV and are touring the 15-city “Dailey & Vincent’s A Springer Mountain Farms Chicken Christmas Tour.” (Full list of dates available below.) Tickets here.

The duo collaborated with Dolly Parton on the Jimmy Fortune and Jeff Bates penned Road To Bethlehem and 2018 Country Music Hall of Fame and Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame inductee, Ricky Skaggs, on a cut of Alabama’sTonight It’s Christmas,” which is one of two bonus tracks available exclusively when fans purchase the Christmas record at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations and online at CrackerBarrel.com.

DAILEY & VINCENT’S A SPRINGER MOUNTAIN FARMS CHICKEN CHRISTMAS TOUR” DATES:
Nov. 24 The Lincoln Theatre – Marion, Va.
Nov. 29 Knoxville Performing Arts Center – Knoxville, Iowa
Nov. 30 The Mansion Theatre – Branson, Mo.
Dec. 1 The Mansion Theatre – Branson, Mo.
Dec. 2 The Arts Center at Iowa Western Community College – Council Bluffs, Iowa
Dec. 5 The Mansion Theatre – Branson, Mo.
Dec. 6 Blue Gate Theater – Shipshewana, Ind.
Dec. 7 The Wilson Center – Brookfield, Wis.
Dec. 8 The Mansion Theatre – Branson, Mo.
Dec. 10 Arlington Music Hall – Arlington, Texas
Dec. 11 Stephen F. Austin State University – Nacogdoches, Texas
Dec. 12 The Palace Theatre – Corsicana, Texas
Dec. 15 Renfro Valley Entertainment Center – Mt Vernon, Ky.
Dec. 16 Meramec Music Theatre – Steelville, Mo.

We love this very special Christmas album as is different to every other Christmas album out there. The sounds of Bluegrass and Country work so well in Christmas songs and if this album doesn’t get you into the Spirit of Christmas then I don’t know what will. Have a listen now and you will soon be excited for festivities which are now getting very close.

We caught up with Jamie and Darrin to discuss the album, working with Dolly and Ricky, what they love about Christmas and more.

So it seems you are both ready for Christmas as you released a Christmas album titled The Sounds of Christmas. First of all this is exciting as there is no other sound quite like Christmas, tell us why you decided now is the time to release a Christmas record?

D: It’s the right time to release a Christmas record because we have finally found all of the songs we’ve been wanting to do that would really make a great collection of music for us and a body of work we want to speak about. Second of all, BMG Nashville has been helping us finance this and put their money where their mouth was. They believed in this CD and they believed it was the right time. Thirdly, our sponsors, Spring Mountain Farms and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store all agreed to help us to do this, promote this and push it out to the people as well. So, with all of these things lined up together, and RFD TV, and all of the other things involved with the touring, it just made the most sense to do it at this time. I feel it is the best time, and more than that, not just what Jamie and I want, I believe it was the Lord’s time and this is what the Lord wanted us to say. It was the time that he wanted this out as well.

How do you decide what Christmas songs to put on a Christmas album, especially to make it that bit more unique than other Christmas albums?

J: Well I think one thing that helps us is that the quartet that we have is not a gospel quartet. It’s more gospel harmonies with a country sound to it. I think that helps to differentiate us from the gospel world and I think the style of music that we did was more jazzy and swingy. That separates us from the country world and we hardly had a steel guitar, which also separates us from that. There was no banjo, mandolins, or fiddles on it, which separated us from the bluegrass field. Then, from the jazz and swing area, we are separated because of our arrangements, our approach and our vocals – which you don’t hear in that style. That’s how we were able to separate from all genres and the way that people record.

D: I agree with all of that, but to sum it all up: we don’t know any better. It just came from the heart and it felt right.

Tell us about collaborating with Dolly – are you old friends? How did this collab come to be and how did you all come to the decision to pick the track “Road to Bethlehem” because this is a never been heard track before being placed on the album?

D: Jimmy Fortune from the Statler Brothers and Jeff Bates, a songwriter wrote the song, “Road to Bethlehem,” and when I heard the song for the very first time, I sent it to Jamie and I was crying. I said to him, ‘You’ve got to hear this, I really believe Dolly would sound the best on this.’ He agreed so we sent the lyrics and the song and asked if she would, ‘please come sing this with me and Jamie’ because she had been wanting to work with us for quite a while. We had gone to speak with her and she had said if anything comes up and we can ever find something that works for both of us she would love to sing with us. So, when this song came up we said that this was the song. She messaged back really quick and she said, ‘I love the song and I’d be honored to sing with you and Jamie.’ She found a little bit of time in her busy schedule, in between Dollywood and everything, and to me it’s just so well done. She sings her heart out in this song, and it sounded better than ever.

Ricky Skaggs joins you on “Tonight It’s Christmas” – tell us a little bit about that collaboration too please.

D: “Tonight It’s Christmas” is a song that is off the Alabama Christmas record. It was a song we wanted to sing especially in today’s time. It was about no fighting, everyone just getting along, and peace and harmony. Ricky has traveled around the world for 11 years and when Jamie and I heard this song, we both said that Ricky would sound the best singing the baritone part. So, again we recorded the song and sent it to him and said, ‘Ricky would you please sing this third part.’ Little did we know, that in September of 2018 this year, he would be inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame and just a few short weeks later, he would be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. So, what timing for us and congratulations to Ricky Skaggs, he fits with just anybody. He just has one of those talents where he can sing anything and make it sound great. We were just so grateful for him to take time and come sing.

Let’s talk about “It’s A Very Merry Christmas” –I love the piano intro, it gave me chills, in fact the whole song did. What was the writing process? Is it hard or easy to make a song Christmasey?

J: I called my friend Karen Staley, who is a neighbor of mine. Karen wrote, “Let’s Go to Vegas” with Faith Hill, wrote hits for Trisha Yearwood and Conway Twitty. Darren and I admire Karen’s songwriting a lot and her personality. She’s so funny. So, I called her and said, ‘I have this idea and a melody for a Christmas song, will you help me write it?’ and she said, ‘Of course.’ We kind of had to do it over the phone because we were traveling so much and had to redo some things along the way, but we finally got it written and went in and recorded it. We wanted to talk about how people celebrate Christmas now, and how there are sons and daughters in other countries protecting America in Iraq or Afghanistan who have to talk through the computer or Skype. We talked about that, pies being made, the smell of turkey and the Christmas lights hanging on the window pane. We tried to cover all of the things that we really do celebrate with Christmas.

As well as the album, you are taking this album on the road, I wish you would come to the UK. Where are you headed and what can fans expect from the show?

J: November 24th through December 16th, we will be traveling all over America doing our Christmas songs that are on our Christmas CD. They can expect a little comedy when we do, “Mr. Grinch” and some of the other songs that we do with a 10-piece band, some horns and strings added in. So hopefully they’ll hear the full effect of it along with our Christmas episodes, sponsored by Spring Mountain Farms Chicken on RFD-TV that goes all through December.

D: And we would love to come to the UK.

J: We’re coming to Switzerland again next year.

Is it strange singing Christmas songs so early?

J: You know, I have never done that early, but I’ve never found it to be strange. I think we’re a lot stranger with other things.

What is both of your favourite ever Christmas song?

J: You know we’ve gone through and given favorite ones, but I think Darren said it best. Every one of these songs on this CD really are our favorites. One of Darren and my favorites is, “Road to Bethlehem,” and some other favorites of mine are, “Mary Did You Know?” and “Carol of the Bells.” Between those three songs, I think we’ve pretty much got it covered.

What is your favourite or earliest Christmas memory?

J: Getting up early in the morning and seeing the old Christmas tree that my mom, dad, brother and I would put together. The fake icicles hanging from it, seeing Tonka toys with big bows on them, other things wrapped up, mom cooking, going out in the yard when it was cold that day and playing in the yard only to catch a cold. Things like that.

D: My earliest memories are going to Grandma and Grandpa’s and eating. I remember my Grandma made great mashed potatoes.

J: I love some good mashed potatoes.

D: Oh man, she had the best. Eating mashed potatoes, opening presents, just being around family is really where it’s at.

So we talked memory but what do you look forward to most at Christmas?

J: Gosh, I just love being home at the house all decorated when it feels cozy with the trees and the lights. When it’s done well and decorated well. The Christmas music. Also, having friends over quite a bit. I really enjoy having conversation with Christmas music playing in the background. Really, the festivities of it all. The chill in the air, the nip in the air, I really enjoy that.

D: For me, I really like the 23rd and 24th of December. It just feels like everybody stops, everything is done, and it just gets quiet. I always try to go to an evening service at the church. We normally grab a candlelight service.

J: I do that as well.

D: Singing carols, singing christmas songs, then hearing the scriptures of Jesus being born in Bethlehem. To me, that brings it home and that’s one of my favorite times.

Do you have a favourite Christmas movie?

J: “Christmas Vacation” for both of us.

Name one thing that is on your Christmas list this year?

J: Well, it’s to do what I do every year at Christmas. It’s when my mom’s not looking, I hack her facebook and put really wild things on there and her friends start calling her asking if she’s okay. Yeah, I enjoy that A LOT!

D: For me this Christmas, my dad’s been gone for four years and my mom’s recently found another guy that she really likes. I guess my Christmas wish is just that she will find happiness and really have a wonderful time for the rest of her life. She’s 75, and momma’s done a lot for Jamie and me. Our dads did too. Dad is gone, but that’s my Christmas gift to her, that she would find happiness and joy in her heart.

Ok, so you got the album, you got the tour, are you in fact ready for Christmas? If not, how long do you leave it usually? Are you a Christmas eve mad dasher shopper?

J: No, usually I finish my shopping before Thanksgiving because I want to beat the crowds. I usually put up decorations Thanksgiving weekend and take them down January 1st. However last year, I took them down on the 26th of December because we had a pretty busy schedule coming. But this year I’m putting them up November 4th, 5th, and 6th and I am not going to take them down until January 1st. I’m going to enjoy it.

D: I’m the second part of that, I’ll be out on the 24th trying to hurry up and grab something. I am the worst shopper that ever was. I’m sorry my wife has to deal with that, but that’s just what I do.

J: I really do appreciate you getting me that plunger last year.

D: I’m glad you liked it.

Well thank you so much for talking today – I love the album and am glad to have a new Christmas album this year. Maybe see you in the UK soon and of course a Merry Christmas to you and your families.

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