‘It’s all about a musical journey’: John Oates on how his solo career led to a Good Road to Follow

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John Oates last three solo projects — including a mainstream pop project, a roots album and now a series of singles featuring a different collaborative partner each month — would seem to have little in common. Not so, says the longtime musical partner of Daryl Hall.

“See, there’s a theme — 1000 Miles of Life, Mississippi Mile and Good Road to Follow,” Oates says in this clip. “It’s kind of a trilogy, really, and it’s all about a musical journey.”

That trip has taken Oates from the top of the pop charts as a member of Hall and Oates — he sang or shared lead vocals on more than 40 H&O songs, and co-wrote three of their No. 1 hits — to an entirely new place.

Rather than working with a single voice, as he has done for decades with Hall, he’s sitting in on the Good Road to Follow project with a dizzying variety of folks — from Vince Gill to Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic to Jim Lauderdale to Hot Chelle Rae.

“I created a whole career based on collaboration with someone else,” Oates says, “and I’ve carried that over, because there’s a magic that happens when people get together. It’s very satisfying to write a song on your own. Sometimes, the emotion’s strong, and it just happens — and that’s great. But when you collaboration with someone, everybody brings something a little bit different.”

Oates’ co-written charttoppers with Hall and Oates include “Out of Touch,” “Maneater” and “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do).”

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