Pinecastle Records has announced that they have signed a contract with Rodney Dillard, and will release the first album of new music from The Dillards since 1991.
The album was produced and recorded by legendary Nashville producer/engineer Bil VornDick, who supervised all tracking and mixing for Old Road New Again, set for release later this month.
Famed for the merging of bluegrass and California rock styles in the 1970s, The Dillards became folk rock legends with pioneering records like Wheatstraw Suite, Roots & Branches, and Tribute To The American Duck. From today’s perspective, pop music historians credit them as being leading innovators in the Laurel Canyon sound in Los Angeles which produced music from The Eagles, Lind Ronstadt, Jackson Brown, Emmylou Harris, and others.
Their earliest appearance in the American consciousness was as The Darlin’ Family on the Andy Griffith Show which was hugely popular throughout the ’60s on television. They played a hillbilly band that came down to Mayberry from time to time where they introduced songs like Dooley, Ebo Walker, and Doug’s Tune which were bluegrass hits for the actual Dillards.
Original members Doug Dillard, Mitch Jayne, and Dean Webb have all passed on, but Rodney Dillard has kept the band and the sound alive to this day. The band on the new record includes George Giddens, Beverly Cotten-Dillard, Tony Wray, and Gary Smith.
In an extensive interview back in April, Rodney said that he is lucky to still be doing what he loves.
“It’s been an interesting run, and I sure have enjoyed everything I’ve been able to do. I’m still learning things about what we did back then.
I just feel so blessed… just a kid from the Ozarks who had the chance to travel all over the world making music.”
And that he had decided to use the band name after a number of solo efforts as Rodney Dillard.
“The Dillards have been the Dillards since my brother and I were born. I decided to keep the name to honor all the guys who have been a part of it over the years. I figure as long as I am alive and going, The Dillards are alive and going. It’s a family.”
Guest appearances on Old Road New Again include ones from Sam Bush, Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, Tim Crouch, and Herb Pedersen, plus Don Henley and Bernie Leadon from The Eagles.
Pinecastle label head Lonnie Lassiter says that they are proud to welcome The Dillards into the fold.
“We’re very excited to welcome The Dillards to the Pinecastle family for their next album release. For decades, they’ve been a staple in the bluegrass genre, dating back to their performances on The Andy Griffith Show in the 1960s. We are looking forward to working with Rodney Dillard and continuing to build the band’s worldwide legacy.”
A debut single, Earthman, was released earlier this year.
Look for Old Road New Again from The Dillards on August 21.