Chart-topping bluegrass duo Dailey and Vincent know they've got a good thing going with their marketing agreement with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. Their music is sold there, and if you look at their touring bus, you don't have to look close to see the restaurant chain's logo represented as a sponsor of the perennial IBMA winners' tours.
In their usual humorous manner, Darrin Vincent said they even take things further than that. "We also have blankets with Cracker Barrel on it, and sheets and towels with their logo on it that go in our restrooms," he says with a good-natured chuckle. "We're all Cracker Barrel, all the time!"
Jamie Dailey says that Cracker Barrel is everything you would want a business partner to be. "In all seriousness, they are a great partner," he confirms. "They're a great consistent company, and have over 600 stores nationwide. We're just thrilled to be able to talk about their brand every night on stage and on TV's. This is our second release with them. It's a blessing to be with them, and they're just a great company."
Fresh off their successful 2010 Statler Brothers tribute album that was sold at the chain, topping the Bluegrass Albums chart in the process, the duo and Cracker Barrel are teaming up again. The Gospel Side of Dailey and Vincent has just been released, and according to Dailey, it's something the fans have been asking for since the duo formed some five years ago.
"From day one, people have been almost been hitting us over the head, wanting a Gospel record," he told Billboard. "We felt it was a good time, and Cracker Barrel agreed. So, we put it together."
The album is a mixture of old and new. One song that will be familiar to many is "Daddy Sang Bass," the 1969 Johnny Cash classic that features a guest cameo from former Statler Brother Jimmy Fortune. The track is somewhat of a departure from the normal Dailey & Vincent sound, allows Darrin.
"We wanted to do an authentic version of that - something that would be different for us, with a brass section along with the fiddles, violins, and cellos. That was something we wanted to try. We knew if we wanted to try to get by with it on any record, we could get by on it with this. Those instruments, along with our acoustic sound that we do, all go hand in hand together. I think with the blend we have on this CD from folk to southern gospel and traditional bluegrass, it all fits together."
Another classic on the disc is "Eternal Vacation," a 1966 Buck Owens cut from his disc Dust On Mother's Bible. Dailey said one of their high-profile fans encouraged them to record the song. "I was lying on the couch one night at home, and was watching the news. The phone rings, and it's Eddie Stubbs (evening personality on Nashville's WSM-AM). He says 'Jamie, Am I bothering you?' I said 'No, not at all, what's going on?' He said, 'I want you to get up and get to your nearest radio, and turn on 650 AM. I'm going to play you a song that you and Darrin need to cut. So, I got up, ran into the garage, and got into the car, cranked up the car, and he played 'Eternal Vacation.' I told Darrin 'we've got to record this. I thought it would make a great song for the timber of his voice. This song fits him better than any song I've heard him sing."
Darrin says the duo really tried to give the song a mountain kind of feel. "The really cool thing about that song is that when we recorded it was that I could hear that Wilma Lee Cooper-type dobro. So, we hired Johnny Bellars, who played many years with her. I think it fits that song really well."
There are some newer songs on the disc, says Dailey - who many critics agree could be the greatest pure tenor singer since Ira Louvin. "There are seven brand new songs on the album that are all original songs. I wrote "Living in the Kingdom of God." Darrin co-wrote "Till At Last I'm Home." Another one on there that is new is "Come Back To Me," which was written by Jimmy Fortune, and had never been recorded. It seems to be a fan favorite already."
The duo will be hitting the road for a tour to promote the disc that will include several Cracker Barrel locations. For more information, check out www.DaileyandVincent.com.