Local music lovers filled the Bank of Colorado Theatre at the Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center (GMAEC) on Dec. 28 for two sold-out shows featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member John Oates alongside local Americana songwriter David Starr. The high demand of the original Friday evening performance caused the second show, a matinee, to be added after the original announcement.
This is Oates' third time in Cedaredge within eight years, but his first performing at GMAEC. Special guest Starr met Oates eight years ago through some mutual musician friends and at their encouragement, invited Oates to perform in Cedaredge.
The two hit it off and have since then also collaborated on two of Starr's CDs. "He's a consummate professional," said Starr. "He's easygoing and like the rest of us he loves to stay busy and play music."
Many may know Oates from his work with Daryl Hall. Known commonly as "Hall & Oates," the duo recorded 21 albums and sold over 80 million records -- the most successful duo in rock history.
For those unfamiliar, Oates and Hall's story is like many of fate. While attending Temple University in Pennsylvania, the two just "happened to meet" and then started collaborating and playing music.
Their first few albums weren't successful. It wasn't until their single "Sara Smile" took off and they defined their sound to a more pop style did their music career excel.
In the 1980s the two detached from their producers and produced an album "Voices" with their touring band. Their authenticity paid off. Two of those singles charted well in the top 40s, fueling their success into the 1980s where their following albums peaked the charts.
Several decades later, in 2014, both were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2016 they even received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
According to his website, www.johnoates.com, the American rock, R&B and soul guitarist is also a successful solo artist. Since 1999 he's recorded five solo albums and toured extensively. Starr described Oates style as having shifted from predominantly rock and pop to more "roots and true americano music."
Oates credits his influences to a variety such as bluegrass, delta blues, ragtime and R&B. "He's a folk music enthusiast at heart," said Starr.
In addition to his aforementioned musical efforts, Oates released a 2015 docu-concert DVD "Another Good Road." He said on his website of the project, "This video is as real as it gets -- one take on each song and no post production fixes or overdubs -- just an amazing band and singers with the intensity and energy of playing these songs for the first time. We had one day, one chance to make magic together, and the results are 'Another Good Road.'"
In 2017 he also released an Amazon best-selling memoir "Change of Seasons." Publisher's Weekly said of his book, "Charm and curiosity distinguish him from the standard-issue pop star... an engaging narrator."
If isn't clear, Oates loves all things performance. He recalls singing since he could talk and playing guitar since age five.Though he's 52 years into his music career, Oates still tours, too. Before his show in Cedaredge, Oates performed the day before at a sold-out venue in Telluride.
For 2019 he already has 12 tour dates set with "The Good Road Band." "He just seems happiest when he's playing music," said Starr.
Starr is confident Oates will return to Cedaredge. "The fact that we sold out two shows in one day of a town this size is a testament to his popularity."