On March 11th of this year during Dailey and Vincent’s 101st appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, Dailey and Vincent were inducted as members. Now despite the band being called Dailey and Vincent, the group is actually comprised of 7 members whose names are Jamie Dailey, Darrin Vincent, Jeff Parker, Patrick McAvinue, Jesse Baker Aaron McCune and Shaun Richardson. Dailey and Vincent have released 6 albums and have been nominated for 2 Grammy awards. Their music is very religiously inspired and has a barbershop quartet quality to many songs. Patriots and Poets is a rather long album at 16 songs therefore, I won’t cover every song but, I will cover most of them.
The album opens up with the uptempo banjo driven tune “Gimme All the Love You Got.” This man has fallen hard for a woman and he asks her to give him all the love that she has. It’s a very fast paced song with that barbershop quartet element to it. “Beautiful Scars” is the first of many tracks on this album that is religiously inspired. This slows the pace down for a nice peaceful song about the physical and emotional scars that we all must bare. He assures us that there is a reason for every one of these scars and that God will heal them.
If there was a song that reminds me of an old country song on this album it’s “Baton Rouge.” The fiddle play really reminds me of a few Alan Jackson songs which is never a bad thing. This describes the journey of a man from Baton Rouge Louisiana to Birmingham Alabama. He is on his way to see the love of his life and to ask her father’s permission for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The next song “Until We’re Gone” feels like a great transition song making you believe that the stories and character’s are the same. Two young people fell in love at a young age and got married. Nobody believed that they would make it because they were too young however, 30 years later they are still together and their love only gotten stronger with time. Taranda Greene sings the female perspective on this song.
“Bill and Ole Elijah” is the story of two prison cell mates. Elijah wants to escape desperately because he doesn’t want to die a prisoner. He knows the risks of trying to escape and Bill tries to talk him out of it. One night he escapes and leaves a note for his friend Bill. He tells Bill that the police and dogs are all headed south to go after him so if Bill wants to escape his best option is to head north. We are left not knowing whether or not Bill took Elijah’s advice or what happened to either man.
With the celebrity/social media culture that we find ourselves in today it is important to remember who the real hero’s are. “Unsung Hero’s” is a salute to the people who risk their lives like policeman or fireman and also people who do important jobs like teachers. They often do not get the credit that they deserve for the jobs that they do nor do the people who do good deeds without receiving any recognition. It’s a song with a great message that we should all remember.
The two vocal standouts on this album are without a doubt “God’s Love” and “He’s Been So Good to Me.” These are both religiously inspired songs that are about what God means to them. In the case of “He’s Been So Good to Me” it is the best vocal performance I have heard in all of 2017. It’s yet another song where the whole group sings and holds notes for what feels like a long time. Whether you are a religious person or not, these two songs are worth checking out.
Sandwiched in between those great vocal performances is the song “California.” A husband and wife are happy as can be living the American dream. Only, that is what the husband thinks when in reality his wife is getting ready to move to California to chase her dream of being a movie star. He is willing to go with her because he would follow his wife anywhere but, to an old country boy California might as well be Mars. The album get’s a little bit dark with the song “Here Comes the Flood.” What starts out as a tiny rainstorm spirals into a horrible flood. The people of the town can’t do anything to save their farms or possessions. All that they can do is flee to higher ground and pray for the best. Unfortunately, everything is destroyed and the community struggles to recover. Things get so bad that the narrators father lands up drinking himself to death.
The album quickly changes course with the songs “No Place Love Won’t Go” and “That Feel Good Music.” The first song is a banjo driven upbeat song about all the places that love is in your life. The second song is an upbeat fiddle driven song that describes nostalgia for the past. I just mentioned a similar song to this in my review of Rich O’Toole’s album in the song “Springsteen Gold.” The radio has changed a great deal over the years with a great shift away from quality and completely towards commercialism. In this tune they just wish they could hear some of that good old fashioned feel good music again.
In the last song with lyrics on this album “That’s What We Were Put Here to Do” we get the story of how this group came to be. They believe that they were put on this earth by God to write and sing music for other’s. They can’t believe that they have made it as far as they have and are grateful for what they have accomplished.
This was a pretty long album clocking in at 16 songs even if all the songs weren’t narrative. Regardless of the length however it’s difficult to listen to this album and not appreciate the quality. Vocally, this is one of the more unique groups that you will hear and they sound fantastic together on this record. If there were any criticisms of this album it would be the lack of sad/painful songs. The only one that would go into that classification would be “Here Comes the Flood.” Overall though very good album.
Grade: B 8/10
Best Songs: He’s Been So Good to Me, Bill and Ole Elijah, Baton Rouge