Exclusive: Ex-Hall & Oates Singer John Oates Discusses His New Cover of John Prine’s Evocative Song “Long Monday”

Former Hall & Oates member John Oates has released a new cover of the 2005 John Prine song “Long Monday” as an advanced single from his forthcoming solo album, Reunion.

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Oates recorded his version of the melodic folk tune with members of his backing group The Good Road Band and acclaimed bluegrass artist Sierra Hull, who plays mandolin on the track.

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In a new interview, Oates told American Songwriter that he decided to record “Long Monday” after he chose the song to perform at an October 2023 concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville that celebrated what would’ve been the late Prine’s 77th birthday.

“I felt like that song is so evocative,” Oates explained. “The lyrics are so fantastic, and … his melodies are so elegantly simple, which I like.”

The singer/songwriter also recalled that “people loved it when I played it at the Ryman. And Fiona, John’s widow, told me how much she loved my interpretation of it, which … gave me even more reason to record it.”

[RELATED: John Oates Has “Moved On” From Hall & Oates After Lawsuit]

Oates also pointed out that when it came time to record the song, he “didn’t want to mess with … either the lyric or the melody. He added, “I thought it was very important to keep those … preserved as original.”

To make the song his own, Oates said he “put a little twist” on its arrangement.

“The chord changes are different, and I approached it differently [in a way] that would suit my vocal style a little bit more,” he noted. “So I really enjoyed putting that song together.”

Oates’ rendition of “Long Monday” is available on all streaming platforms.

About Prine’s Original Version of “Long Monday”

Prine co-wrote “Long Monday” with Keith Sykes, and the song appeared on his 2005 studio album Fair & Square. He died in April 2020 at the age of 73.

Oates Explains Why He Felt a Close Connection to Prine

Oates calls Prine “a songwriter’s songwriter,” and explained to American Songwriter that he had a number of reasons why he felt a close connection to him.

“I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that John and me and Daryl [Hall], we started our careers at the exact same time,” Oates said. “And not only did we start our careers at the same time, but we actually were recording in the same studio, at the same time, with the same producer, the great Arif Mardin.”

He also recalled, “[W]e would literally cross paths in the hallway going in and out of the famous Atlantic [Records] studios in New York City.”

More About Oates’ Upcoming Album, Reunion

Reunion will be released on May 17. Oates released the title track as the first advance track from the record in early April. He co-wrote “Reunion” with A.J. Croce, son of the late legendary 1970s singer/songwriter Jim Croce.

Recorded in Nashville, Reunion also features songs that Oates co-wrote with Jim Lauderdale, Joe Henry, and other artists. In addition to Hull and The Good Road Band, the album includes contributions from such acclaimed bluegrass musicians as Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, and Sam Bush.

You can pre-order Reunion now.

Oates’ Solo Tour Plans

He currently has about 18 solo concerts lined up in 2024, through an August 25 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Tickets for Oates’ concerts are available now via various outlets, including StubHub.

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Photo by Jason Lee Denton

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