Country music legends The Oak Ridge Boys are partnering with Gaither Music to release their brand new Gospel album, "Rock of Ages, Hymns and Gospel Favorites." The new 15-song project produced by Ben Isaacs (Gaither Vocal Band, The Isaacs) and group member Duane Allen arrives May 26th. The set also features special vocals by Merle Haggard and the Isaacs.
"All of The Oak Ridge Boys are men of faith," Allen says. "We were raised in four different states, but we were all brought up in homes where our parents taught us about Jesus and believing in God. All of the Oaks grew up singing in church. These songs are some of the first we learned to sing. Their messages of hope, love, assurance, faith, heaven and, basically, how to live formed the foundation of each of us."
The reason these old hymns are so familiar is because they are great. They have lived through the decades, even centuries, because they were written in times when man's faith was tested. They have stood the test of time because the message transcends the test of time."
Something else that has stood the test of time is the group's longtime friendship with country legend Merle Haggard, who wrote a song entitled "Sweet Jesus" for the new release."
Merle Haggard has been a good friend of The Oak Ridge Boys for decades," Allen continues. "He was taping a TV show with Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives; and my son-in-law, Paul Martin, sings and plays with The Fabulous Superlatives, so Merle gave Paul a copy of 'Sweet Jesus' and asked him to give it to me for the Oaks."
We loved the recitation and thought if we could just get Merle to do that recitation we would be thrilled. But then, it worked so well that Merle just kept on singing with us on the last chorus-a once in a lifetime experience for all of The Oak Ridge Boys. It is one of the biggest thrills of my career to get to sing and record with Merle Haggard."
Another special addition to Rock of Ages, Hymns and Gospel Favorites are guest vocals from the award-winning Isaacs, who joined The Oaks for the song "Peace Within.""...What you hear [on the last chorus] was one take...no fixes, no second takes, just exactly what Sonya was feeling at the time," explains Allen. "It is pure magic as only Sonya and The Isaacs can do. They brought depth and love to 'Peace Within,' taking it to another level."
CD Song List
1. IN THE SWEET BY AND BY
2. ROCK OF AGES
3. SWEET JESUS featuring Merle Haggard
4. ANGEL BAND
5. THERE IS POWER IN THE BLOOD
6. IN THE GARDEN
7. HOLD TO GOD'S UNCHANGING HAND
8. I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY
9. LIFE'S RAILWAY TO HEAVEN
10. TIME HAS MADE A CHANGE IN ME
11. BLESSED ASSURANCE
12. FATHER, I STRETCH MY HANDS TO THEE
13. FARTHER ALONG
14. JUST A LITTLE TALK WITH JESUS
15. PEACE WITHIN featuring The Isaacs