The new holiday album by the award-winning Dailey & Vincent bluegrass duo, “Dailey & Vincent: The Sounds of Christmas,” decorates the classics we all know and love with jaunty arrangements and a bluegrass/jazzy feel. That was the idea going into the project, as the duo, comprised of Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent, explains in a lively conversation with Sports & Entertainment Nashville.
“We kind of wanted to go in that direction with this record,” explains guitarist/vocalist Dailey. “We had the idea to bring in some of the best musicians in the world, and it was a wonderful experience. You’d want certain beats or a certain swing. You’d tell them and I mean they would just fly with it.”
“This was a fun album to make,” says bassist/vocalist Vincent. “There are things on here that were our favorites growing up, like ‘Frosty the Snowman’ and ‘Let It Snow.’ Another one on the album that we love is ‘Mary Did You Know,’ which has become kind of a modern classic. I think the song selection will bring back lots of memories for people. It’s an album we’ve always wanted to do.”
This record indeed marks the first-ever Christmas album for Dailey & Vincent. The inaugural effort is sure to liven up anyone’s Christmas goodie bag, as Dailey & Vincent serve up their unique takes on these holiday tunes without straying too far from the familiar standards.
The duo’s distinctive harmonies light up the record, with songs ranging from “Jingle Bells” to “Carol of the Bells.” Two originals add a slice of diversity, with “Road to Bethlehem,” written by Jeff Bates and Jimmy Fortune, and “It’s a Very Merry Christmas,” penned by Dailey and singer/songwriter Karen Staley. “Road to Bethlehem” features a guest appearance by Dolly Parton, a longtime friend and admirer of the duo.
“When we heard ‘Road to Bethlehem,’ we said that we had to get Dolly for this,” recalls Vincent. He was given a heads-up about the tune from a friend, who encouraged him to reach out to Fortune. “I asked Jimmy if he would mind sending it over to me,” Vincent continues. “He sent it over that afternoon, and as soon as I heard it, I just bawled. I took it to Jamie and he loved it. And it’s great how it all worked out,” Vincent adds with a smile, “because Jimmy would have never said anything about it. He is so low-key. He would never try to force a song on anyone. I’m excited that we were able to have it on here.”
Besides the inimitable Dolly, Dailey & Vincent welcomes another guest superstar to the album. Ricky Skaggs joins the duo on Alabama’s beloved “Tonight Is Christmas,” one of two bonus tracks available exclusively when fans purchase the album at any Cracker Barrel Old Country Store location. “Both Dolly and Ricky are dear friends of ours,” smiles Vincent. “We sent them the songs and the lyrics and asked if they would be interested in being on the album. They both said ‘yes’ right away.” Dailey had a strong feeling that a female voice would be perfect for “Road to Bethlehem,” and Miss Dolly loomed at the top of the wish list. “I think we came up with the right song for her,” Dailey says. “The song really calls for a third voice.”
Dailey & Vincent will be spreading further holiday cheer on special Christmas editions of their music series on RFD-TV, “The Daily & Vincent Show.” On December 15th, T.G. Sheppard and wife Kelly Lang join the guys for some family festivities. Grand Ole Opry star Jeannie Seely comes on board for the December 22nd episode as everyone celebrates being home for the holidays.
This particular Christmas season has been especially jolly for the duo. “Dailey & Vincent: The Sounds of Christmas” was greeted with rave reviews right out of the gate. The album also debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard Holiday Albums chart. But the real kicker came with the news that the record landed at No. 1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart. “That was a surprise, because this isn’t really a bluegrass record,” Dailey says with a smile. That success, of course, comes with Dailey & Vincent’s lofty place in the bluegrass world. They’ve won the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Entertainer of the Year award three times with an equal number of trophies for Vocal Group of the Year.
“We have to thank the fans for going out and buying the album,” says Vincent in an earnest tone. “I think people feel the heart and soul that we put into this.”
“Dailey & Vincent: The Sounds of Christmas” is available at all Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations and the Cracker Barrel website, select retailers and major digital outlets.