Dailey & Vincent spread the bluegrass gospel at Strings in Steamboat
Steamboat Springs — When Jamie Dailey was young, he wanted to grow up to be an airline pilot.
“It just didn’t work out,” he said about his youthful dreams about flight. “My eyesight is not what it should be and I don’t think my IQ is what it should be, either.”
So, instead, as he packed his things Wednesday afternoon to leave on tour with his bluegrass band, Dailey & Vincent, he was sure to throw a few books into his suitcase.
Because now, Dailey can read about airline pilots like Captain Chesley Sullenberger between nights of fulfilling a different dream.
After spending a decade as with legendary bluegrass band Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Dailey joined forces with another bluegrass veteran, Darrin Vincent, of Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Both play guitar and sing lead and harmonies.
Together, they’ve made waves in traditional vocal bluegrass, sweeping the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards by winning Entertainer of the Year and Vocal Performance of the Year at each ceremony since their self-titled debut was released in 2008.
This year, they were handed their first Grammy nomination, for Best Country Performance by a Duo or a Group, for a track on their newest album, which is a tribute to the Statler Brothers.
And both Dailey and Vincent, who grew up singing gospel at church in Tennessee and Mississippi, respectively, couldn’t be more surprised.
“I’m actually shocked,” Dailey said. “I’m touched and humbled to be doing what we do.”
The duo and their band, comprising Jeff Parker on mandolin, Joe Dean on banjo and guitar, Jesse Stockman on fiddle and Christian Davis on guitar, plays the Strings Music Pavilion on Tuesday as a part of the music festival’s winter concert series.
Tickets are $32 and are available online at http://www.stringsmusic
festival.com or by calling 970-879-5056.
The traditional bluegrass music is vocally focused, centered on the blend between Dailey’s crisp tenor and Vincent’s even baritone.
It was Dailey’s voice that brought them together in the first place, several years ago.
Dailey was singing the gospel tune “Be Living,” complete with a relatively high note that brought the audience — which included Vincent — out of their seats.
Soon after, they sang a duet together while driving in the car and found that their voices blended perfectly, creating a horn-like sound.
“We love harmonies,” Dailey said. “We just love singing against one another. We work like a machine, like a well-oiled unit.”
They hit it off as friends as well, leading them to title their second album “Brothers from Different Mothers.”
“We really did click, we sure did,” Dailey said. “We like the same food, we laugh at the same funny movies and we argue a little but we never fight.”
On stage, the duo and their band fly through a series of genres, emotions and tempos, playing as a duo, full band and quartet while singing a cappella and in Spanish.
“I love being on the stage and I love making people laugh,” Dailey said. “We love to take them on a rollercoaster ride. We want to laugh, cry and be serious and make them participate.”
During the set, they’ll croon through a gospel section, in which the musicians express their heritage and beliefs. Dailey said the Lord has been good to them, enabling them to sing their praises in the traditional melodies they grew up with.
“I just know that with being a bluegrass singer, you sing about memories in the past life, and from the heart,” he said. “You sing from the heart. It’s America’s music.”
— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or e-mail ningils@SteamboatToday.com
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