Arkansas is a frequently forgotten state. The world doesn’t run through Little Rock. But once someone visits the Natural State, it’s hard for them to leave it behind. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member John Oates found this out when he visited the cotton fields of Wilson, Arkansas that line the banks of the mighty Mississippi. He was so struck by the natural beauty and musical heritage of the Arkansas Delta that he dedicated an album to the state led by the title track “Arkansas.”
John Oates, who was famously half of the duo Hall & Oates and a native Philadelphian, is an unlikely herald of Arkansas. But he could not deny the magnetism of the state.
“I was invited to go to Wilson, Arkansas,” Oates told Rolling Stone Country, “and was inspired by the landscape where the cotton fields line the Mississippi River shore. My entire musical life has been influenced by the music that has flowed up that river from New Orleans through the Delta, and has had such an important sonic and cultural impact on America. It occurred to me that Arkansas was the last rural stop on the musical journey northward.”
And to think, he hasn’t even seen the Ozarks yet.
Arkansas will be released February 2.