Interview: Daily & Vincent (Finally) Release Often-Requested Live Album
After years of requests, Dailey & Vincent have given their fans what they want: a live album.
The bluegrass duo, made up of Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent (and often backed by a crew of skilled players), recently released their first-ever live CD/DVD, Alive! in Concert, but the project isn't their first live album for lack of desire, both on Dailey & Vincent's part and on their fans' part.
Since the two acclaimed musicians joined forces and released their first album in early 2008, Vincent says that their fans have been complimenting their on-stage banter and requesting a live album.
"They just love being in our audience," he tells The Boot, but while the duo had thought about releasing a live album, financial constraints and their label prevented them from doing so. However, thanks to interest from Cracker Barrel and some financial help from the namesake of the Hylton Performing Arts Center, located on the Prince William campus of George Mason University in Manassas, Va. -- where Alive! in Concert was recorded -- the project became a reality.
"Little by little ... everybody jumped in," Vincent explains, "and finally we had a budget to pay for this."
Once the stars aligned behind the scenes, Vincent says that since he and Dailey had been making notes about a potential live album over the years, they only had to finalize their setlist -- a process Vincent calls "a collective effort."
"We had to pick and choose carefully [from our previously recorded songs], and then we wanted to write a fresh batch and find some newer songs for the audience to enjoy," he says. "It really wasn't that hard; it was just hard to get everything together and condense it all down."
The result is a 14-track album that mixes old material and covers of both the Statler Brothers and Glen Campbell with newly written tunes, and features Dailey & Vincent as a duo, backed by varying members of their band and playing with GMU's 50-person orchestra and 100-person choir.
"We feel like our band members are some of the best in the world," Vincent says. "They are very gifted, to start with, from the Lord, in my opinion, and they have really taken that gift and honed in on their craft."
One track, the instrumental "Nine Yards," particularly highlights D&V's backing band. The song was originally written for their fiddle player, B.J. Cherryholmes, and his family's band, and Cherryholmes' sister, Molly Cherryholmes, joins in for the tune. The result is, in Vincent's words, "a home run."
"It excites me, and why would you not want to feature something [like that]?" Vincent explains of highlighting the band, which he equates with parents bragging about their children. "It only makes Dailey & Vincent look good if we have other people in the band that are gifted and talented."
The varying levels of band accompaniment also change Dailey & Vincent's sound throughout the record, which Vincent says allows them to reach beyond bluegrass.
"For us to be able to do such a variety of music, it touches [everybody]," he explains. "If you like music in general, this CD, really, you should love it, because there's every type of music on there."
The project's chart performance certainly supports Vincent's point. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart and at No. 28 on the Top Country Albums chart, while the DVD earned the No. 2 spot in its debut week on the Music Video Sales chart.
One of Alive! in Concert's new songs, "Simple Man," is particularly stirring -- "[Jamie] sings the heck out of that song," Vincent says -- as is the closing track, Campbell's "Less of Me."
"It's just a great song," Vincent adds. "It's something we should live by every day ... It really goes back to Bible principles, and it's a wonderful song, and we wanted to include that."
However, one of Vincent's personal favorite moments can only be spotted in the DVD footage, during "I Believe." His wife Julie was in the front row with their adopted daughter, Taylor, during the filming of the concert. The 5-year-old girl had only been with the Vincents for a few months at that point, but, as Darrin Vincent points out, she's waving her hands in the air and praising the Lord during the song.
"I just know what she's feeling in her heart," he says, "and it's really special."
Alive! in Concert is now available digitally (CD only) through Amazon and iTunes. Both the CD and DVD are available in all Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations, and online. In addition to the concert itself, the DVD also includes a behind-the-scenes look at Dailey & Vincent's lives, as well as a feature on the making of the DVD.
Dailey & Vincent, Alive! in Concert Track Listing:
1. "We Are All Here to Learn"
2. "I Will Leave My Heart in Tennessee"
3. "Nine Yards"
4. "Simple Man"
5. "Mississippi River"
6. "Oh Baby Mine"
8. "Alabama Blue"
9. "I Believe"
10. "Cumberland River"
11. "Beyond Romance"
12. "American Pride"
13. "Till They Came Home"
14. "Less of Me"