By Stevie Connor.
Old Dominion has done it the old-fashioned way: write great songs, take them to the fans, repeat. Never skipping a step, never inflating a win, the five-man band – lead singer/guitarist Matthew Ramsey, lead guitarist/vocalist Brad Tursi, keyboardist/guitarist/accordion man Trevor Rosen and the adventurously multi-rhythmic section of bassist Geoff Sprung and drummer Whit Sellers – has never faltered, never forgotten the positive vibrations and power of chemistry to build a connection with people.
With the 6-time and current Academy of Country Music and 5-time and reigning Country Music Association “Group of the Year” just topping the charts with the title track of their eight song EP Memory Lane, they are ready to announce the full-length Memory Lane. Slated for an October 6 release, the 18-song project builds on what the EP contained – and fans have been hearing all summer – with more of the joy of living even in complicated times, but also a deeper, more reflective group of songs.
“We always knew this was going to be a full album,” says Matthew Ramsey, “But we wanted to give our fans the opportunity to absorb it completely. Over the years, we’ve developed a conversation with fans, bad days, big moments, I’d like to think our songs make both better. We wanted to make an album that takes our songs and looks a little deeper into what happens between two people. Just because it’s deep, though, it doesn’t mean the music can’t feel good.”
After the over-the-shoulder “I Should’ve Married You,” the untamed soul that can’t be tied down “Some Horses” and unfettered living found in real love in the guitar-tumbling closer “Freedom Like You” that set the tone for Memory Lane as an EP, the 13x RIAA Platinum songwriting superstars explored sadness and resolution – “Both Sides of the Bed,” the exuberant “Easy To Miss,” the slinky “Hot Again” – and the realities of romantic self-realization – the rambling “Stay Drunk,” bright, multi-rhythmic assessment “A Million Things,” the heavy harmony standard-setting “Different About You.”
Highlighting the project is “Can’t Break Up Now,” a duet with songwriter Megan Moroney. Trying to untangle in the name of what would be lost, Ramsey’s warm duskiness is the perfect match for Moroney’s cottony soft wistfulness, just a bit of a twinge as she works those things that are so special. As Ramsey says, “Megan’s a really intuitive singer, but she’s also a very smart songwriter – and she came at this song from what was being said, how the melody rises and kind of blew our minds! I think we all loved the way she creates a song, her sense of how notes flow, but she’s both songwriter/singer who came in and pushed this song to almost a scene from a movie.”
Said Moroney, “I didn’t write this song but when it was sent over, I thought the lyrics told a story that we all can relate to. The melody was infectious and it’s not like anything I’ve ever put out and ’ve been a fan of Old Dominion for a while & I’m really excited to be featured on this!”
Another surprise is Blake Shelton, a vocal fan of the band with Virginia roots, on a special redux of the feel-good-in-the-face-of-whatever-life-hands-you “Ain’t Got A Worry.” With their signature wave of harmonies, percolating groove and a conversational tone, the match-up takes the EP’s rendition and makes it a friend-to-friend celebration of getting out of your own way and feeling the moment.
“When Blake started talking about us,” Ramsey explains, “it was a little surreal. But it was also cool. Trevor had co-written ‘Sangria,’ which was a big hit for him, so it wasn’t completely crazy to ask him to join us on a track. We sent some songs over, and he picked ‘Ain’t Got A Worry.’
Funny thing is: if we’d really looked at the songs, of course, he did. That’s exactly how Blake lives.”
One of American music’s most bankable groups, Old Dominion builds on “One Man Band,” “Written In The Sand,” “Make It Sweet,” “Song for Another Time,” “Break Up With Him,” “Hotel Key” and “I Was On A Boat That Day” with another collection that’s built to keep the joy high, the living easy and the ear worms happy.
Old Dominion’s skyscraping anthems and electrifying live shows have put the multi-Platinum-selling band prominently at the forefront of country music. Fusing clever lyrics and an infectious sound, their lyrical wit and hook-heavy songwriting has certainly proved to be a winning formula for Nashville’s hottest band. It’s no wonder Rolling Stone cited Old Dominion as one of mainstream country music’s most popular live groups.
Since breaking onto the music scene, the band has notched nine No. 1 singles at country radio, surpassed five billion on-demand streams, earned a dozen RIAA Platinum and Gold single certifications, and headlined arenas and amphitheaters around the globe. The band are currently the reigning 6X ACM and 5X CMA Group of the Year. Most recently, the band took home their record-breaking sixth successive win for Group of The Year at the 2023 ACM Awards. They also earned nominations for Album of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year at the 2022 CMA Awards. During the latter, their win for Vocal Group of the Year marked their fifth successive award in the category.
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