John Oates

Best known for his work with the hit-making duo Hall & Oates, John Oates has 6 solo albums to his credit. Born in New York City, his family moved to a small town outside of Philadelphia, PA in the early 1950s. Soaking up the sounds of the 60s, he was influenced by multiple styles including folk, bluegrass, delta blues, and ragtime, while also immersing himself in R&B legends. We spoke with John after the release of Arkansas.

While they don't all have blue-eyes, the white soul and swamp pop guys and gals from Philadelphia and South Louisiana have created distinctive regional sounds of national significance. In Philadelphia, we sample soul roots of the famed band Hall & Oates; and learn from John Oates that -- despite years of pop music, big hair and synthesizers-- at heart he is also a folkie into country blues and flat-picked guitar a la Doc Watson and Mississippi John Hurt... which he plays live for us!