Waist Deep In Their Arena Tour Old Dominion Finally Deliver Their 18-Song Album 'Memory Lane'
Photo Credit: Mason Allen.
Waist deep in their No Bad Vibes 2023 arena tour, Old Dominion finally delivers their 18-song Memory Lane, the eagerly awaited expansion of their January sampler and early summer EP of the same name.
Beyond already having their ninth No. 1 as the title track, the critically acclaimed band’s smouldering duet with double Country Music Association (CMA) Awards nominee Megan Moroney officially arrived at country radio as No. 1 Most Added upon impact on 9/18 in the U.S.
And that’s only the tip of the music for the five-time and current Country Music Association and six-time and reigning Academy of Country Music Group of the Year. For their fifth full project, lead singer and 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 wanted to braid all the things that have defined the band of songwriters together.
As Ramsey explains on the brink of releasing the full project, “There is the self-awareness that we are the ear-worm farmers. We do know we have this ability to just throw in everything that can catch your ear without it sounding too cloudy or chaotic. We’ve really refined that, but that – if we’re paying attention – allows us to go off in directions we want to explore, because the hook will bring you with us.”
Whether the lean, then surging “Freedom Like You,” banjo-flecked, multi-rhythmic “A Million Things,” innocently retro melody on the lonesome “Both Sides of the Bed,” good time stop/start “Ain’t Got A Worry” featuring Blake Shelton, slinky soul-country of wanting to be the thing that’s “Different About You” or hushed harmony-forward “Beautiful Sky,” Old Dominion sought to push the envelope of where those ear worms could live, breathe and create a gleaming kind of country that empowers even on the bad day.
That joy of living even in complicated times sets the 13-times Platinum band apart. Beyond going deeper, making more reflective songs shine, it’s also about their willingness to make it about the rhythms and the playing. Looking to “Different About You,” Tursi explains, “It’s sort of a nod to the Chili Peppers, but really a nod to Hendrix. That was the most transformed from demo to final recording. It’s really fun to play those double stop parts. Those voicings are built for guitar, and the song became way more aggressive. I always like when we get to go back to being the rock band we were, and always will be.”
“Some songs evolve, changing incrementally,” adds Rosen. “Our sound’s the result of five individuals listening to each other and playing what comes naturally -- like a flock of birds. With each song, we have our own mental concept of what the song is at its essence, but obviously with a shared vision. Whatever comes through us, through our instruments, that’s the fusion of our musical DNA.”
Whether the slinky “Hot Again,” the tumbling “Easy To Miss” or the reggae-undertowed “Sleep Without Drinking,” Memory Lane takes Old Dominion’s feel-good country and ups the ante. More adventurous, more coherent, more, well, fun even as it measures the rough patches and disappointments. For the friends who became a band, it’s arriving at a place where Old Dominion is a sound and a state of mind.
“There’s self-awareness musically, and there’s self-awareness as a human,” Ramsey explains. “We didn’t have that much ego (between us) in the first place. It’s disappeared with where we are and acknowledging of our abilities. The joy of creating something and putting it out, seeing how people receive it: there’s a real freedom in that.”
Freedom and awesome. With a string of sold-out arenas behind them – and going forward – the celebration of the full-on Memory Lane could stretch well into 2024. As “Love Drunk and Happy” heaven-bound declaration proclaims, “Lets raise a toast to the wild hearts making the most/ of every single minute ‘til they give up the ghost/ What a way to live, what a way to go...”
10/6 – Greenville, SC / Bon Secours Wellness Arena
10/7 – Atlanta, GA / State Farm Arena
10/26 – Glendale, AZ / Desert Diamond Arena
10/27 – Los Angeles, CA / Crypto.com Arena
11/1 – Seattle, WA / Climate Pledge Arena
11/2 – Portland, OR / Moda Center
11/4 – Salt Lake City, UT / Vivint Arena
11/16 – Fort Wayne, IN / Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
11/17 – Rosemont, IL / Allstate Arena
11/18 – St. Louis, MO / Enterprise Center
11/30 – Wilkes-Barre, PA / Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
12/1 – State College, PA / Bryce Jordan Center
12/2 – Baltimore, MD / CFG Bank Arena
12/7 – Des Moines, IA / Wells Fargo Arena
12/8 – Kansas City, MO / T-Mobile Center
12/9 – Lincoln, NE / Pinnacle Bank Arena
12/13 – Columbus, OH / Nationwide Arena
12/14 – Louisville, KY / KFC Yum! Center
12/15 – Nashville, TN / Bridgestone Arena
01/4 – Honolulu, HI / Blaisdell Arena
01/6 – Kahului, HI / Maui Arts and Cultural Center
01/26 – Durant, OK / Choctaw Grand Theater
01/27 – Durant, OK / Choctaw Grand Theater
03/22 – Key West, FL / Coffee Butler Amphitheater
03/23 – Key West, FL / Coffee Butler Amphitheater
03/24 – Key West, FL / Coffee Butler Amphitheater
Old Dominion’s sky-scraping 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.” 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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