Nestled in all the growth and hipster areas of Nashville is The Pie Wagon, an old-fashioned meat and three just a couple blocks from Music Row. On any given day, you just might find some of the town’s most legendary voices or hottest producers eating lunch – or exchanging musical ideas.
Such was the case one day last spring with Country Music Hall of Fame members The Oak Ridge Boys and highly-respected producer Dave Cobb.
“We worked with Dave back in 2010 with The Boys Are Back, and since being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015, we really wanted to do something special,” says The Oak Ridge Boys tenor singer Joe Bonsall. “We mulled it around and thought ‘How can we do a special kind of project?' We wanted to do something meaningful. So, we went to Dave, and he said ‘We’re family. I’d love to be a part of it.’ So we ended up having a lunch meeting at the Pie Wagon. He looked at us and said ‘What was it about the early rock and roll years – back in the '50s – that excited us and got us really going? In all honesty, a lot of that sound came out of Gospel. Let’s go back and visit that. Let’s make it fresh. But let’s make it retro. Let’s do a project that has a basis in old Gospel, but I’m not talking about the Gospel stuff you guys have been doing for years, I’m thinking we go way back. So we went out of the Pie Wagon thinking ‘What a great idea.’ We weren’t going to start recording until early fall, but Dave got so excited that he cleared some space in early June, and called us and told us to get down to RCA Studio A, and what came out was 17th Avenue Revival.”