For Dailey & Vincent fans wondering just who shaped Jamie Dailey’s considerable talent and nudged him towards his award-winning career, the answer lies in the engaging new album Step Back in Time. Long before Dailey had joined forces with his friend Darrin Vincent to create their acclaimed duo, he was singing with his father JB. Dailey has now come full circle, teaming with his dad on the new Pinecastle Records album, releasing May 8.
Produced by Jamie, who sings and plays on the record, Step Back in Time is JB’s debut album. “It was enjoyable and I was sort of nervous at the same time,” JB tells Sounds Like Nashville of recording the project. “It was stuff I’d been doing for years and stuff we did together when Jamie was just a kid. The old stuff like that is my favorite kind of music.”
Seven years ago, JB was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which has affected his guitar and dobro playing and sometimes impacts his voice. “We took our time with this CD and recorded it when he felt up to it,” Jamie says. “It took a little over a year and a half.”
JB, who lives in Gainesboro, TN, says he’s on medication that helps keep the Parkinson’s symptoms at bay for the most part. “It’s more in my right hand than anywhere and sometimes it’s hard to get my fingers going where I want them to go,” the 73-year-old says. “I think everybody has some kind of problem, but I try not to let that stuff bother me. I put it in the back of my mind the best I can. I have good days and sometimes I have bad, but I just take it as it comes. I’ve been very well blessed over the years.”
Sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms Chicken, the 13-track album features such country classics as “Ashes of Love,” which is premiering exclusively on SLN today (5/6). “Dad came on and did our television show, ‘The Dailey and Vincent Show,’ several years prior and I said, ‘Dad we need an upbeat song to feature you on and he said, ‘Well let’s do “Ashes of Love” with the full band.’ We did and it sounded so good on TV,” says Jamie, who felt the song would also be perfect for JB’s album. “We did the old Jim & Jesse style of singing on it and playing. We had the snare drum and it kind of reminds me of some of the early Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs stuff when they had the snare drum. It’s really cool.”
“I did that years ago when I was just growing up,” JB says of the song. “I always loved the old tune and I’d laid it on the back burner and kind of forgot about it until we did the show with Jamie.”
Step Back in Time also includes “Nobody’s Darlin’ but Mine,” originally recorded by Merle Haggard. The project also features such gospel treasures as the Flatt & Scruggs classic “Mother Prays Loud in Her Sleep” and “Vision of Jesus,” which was a hit for bluegrass legend Doyle Lawson, who gave Jamie his start in the business by hiring him for his band Quicksilver in 1998. Lawson, Vincent and Jimmy Fortune make special guest appearances on the album.
“One of the main things is I wanted great musicians playing and singing on this record that understood what we were going for which was more of a traditional-based record with an older sound,” Jamie says. “I knew that Darrin Vincent understood that just about as well as anybody, maybe more so than me in some cases. So I asked Darren, ‘Would you mind to play some bass and some archtop guitar?’ He said, ‘Absolutely!’. . . Of course, when it comes to a baritone vocal, nobody in bluegrass can sing better than Darrin Vincent.”
Knowing that his dad was a Lawson fan, Jamie called his old boss too and he was happy to contribute. “Then I got a call out of the blue from Jimmy Fortune—one of my best friends who used to be with the Statler Brothers—asking how dad’s record was going and I told him it was going well,” Jamie recalls. “He said, ‘Man, am I going to get to sing on it?’ I said, ‘Well absolutely! You’re going to get to sing on it.’ I called dad and said, ‘Jimmy Fortune is wanting to sing on your record. Do you have a problem with that?’ And he said, ‘No, if I can help his career, I’d be glad.’ So we had a big laugh out of it, and Jimmy came on and sang with us.”
Working on the album with his dad took Jamie back to playing music during his childhood. “He was always one of those parents that never did push me to do it and let me do it when I wanted to,” Jamie says. “He never put any pressure on me. He always said, ‘No matter how good you are, there’s always somebody out there better, remember that.’ He also said, ‘Never, never, let it go to your head and never let it get ahead of you.’ He also talked about my diction and singing, and said to make sure my singing was pronounced where people could understand what I was saying. There were a lot of those little lessons like that. He was just a gem to run around and play music with at all the different festivals we used to play at together. It was a lot of fun. I have a lot of great memories, and a lot of funny stories too.”
JB recalls entering Jamie in a contest when he was only five-years-old and he was competing with kids up to age 18. “He came in second,” JB recalls proudly. “He did ‘Elvira’ and ‘Rocky Top,’ and I played guitar for him. He sure had the crowd. They were really getting into it. So to get to do this album with him just brought back a lot of good memories down through the years.”
JB is proud of the successful career his son has carved out. Dailey & Vincent are members of the Grand Ole Opry. They have their own TV show and have won numerous awards. “I’m proud of what he’s accomplished, but probably more proud of him for him being the man he is,” JB says. “He’s got a heart of gold and he’s helped a lot of people down through the years. I’m proud of him.”
A couple years ago when Dailey & Vincent were playing a sold out show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, JB joined them onstage for a song and the crowd went crazy. It’s a moment they hope to repeat. Depending on JB’s health and when venues start opening up after the pandemic, father and son plan to perform together again. Jamie is also hoping to record another album with his dad, which will likely be happening, especially since the first album hasn’t officially been released but demand has already pushed it to the No. 1 on Amazon’s Bluegrass Albums chart. “It’s just thrilling for me, and I hope if everything holds, and we can get back to normal, we can do a Volume 2,” Jamie says. “It just means the world to me. I just love seeing him enjoy this process and enjoy putting a record out after all these years, and he’s gaining a fan base. It’s just been such a blessing to watch him get to enjoy that and them get to enjoy him. So many fathers and sons or mothers and daughters never really get to record together and we’ve been able to do that. The Lord really blessed us with this opportunity.”