Harold Reid of the Statlers is billed as "Roadhog" on the credits for "Brothers." He appears in a spoken part on the lead-off Head Hung Down, a humorous song about a guy whose bulb doesn't burn bright and ends up in jail for committing a crime in Mississippi. Reid assumes the role of a judge. Reid played the comedy character of Lester "Roadhog" Moran as part of Lester and The Cadillac Cowboys, a dim-witted country band and alter egos of the Statler Brothers. Dailey & Vincent made a pit stop in Staunton, Va., the home of the Statlers to record Reid for their record.
Dailey says when he heard the song, he thought they needed a third person involved, as a judge figure.
While that may be humorous, the closing On the Other Side is anything but. The song is about the death of a loved one. Fortune and his two co-writers all had lost their fathers in a similar time frame. "Darren and I and the band were playing in Shepherdsville, Ky. back in January 2008," says Dailey. "I called Jimmy, and I said, 'we're just driving this weekend, taking the bus. Why don't you ride along with me?'...When he got in the car, he had this CD of songs that he'd been writing with other writers. He played On The Other Side, and man I blew up. I was just crying. I called Darrin and said, 'Here's the big one'. Darrin replied his normal self...'Okay Jamie, that's good'."
Dailey says what spoke to him was "just the melody, the words and thinking about somebody in heaven that you didn't say good bye to. It just really moved me a lot."
Vincent says the song reminded him of I Believe, a Fortune/John Rimel song from the debut. "It really touches my heart, my soul," says Vincent.
Years Ago is a humorous, some might say sad, song about an ex, who goes to a wedding, but leaves before saying anything to the happy couple. Dailey refers to the song as "the ultimate wedding kiss-off song."
"It's vocally different," says Vincent, adding, "It's got unison duos, which are usually a no no in bluegrass...This song really features a lot of different vocal performance, the way you can sing. It just broadens our spectrum of singing. The song is different from a straight, standard bluegrass tune...The lyrics make me laugh. Everybody can identify with having a girlfriend or boyfriend."
Yet, there the song remains a mystery, according to Vincent. "We played Staunton, Va. at the park. Don (Reid) was on the bus, and I said, 'would you let me know what you were thinking on the very last line of the verse. What was that about?'. He just smiled and said, 'I'm not going to tell you' and walked off to the bus. I'm not done yet. I'm going to get the answer. That was hilarious."
Dailey & Vincent cover Rawlings and Welch's Winters Come & Gone on "Brothers," but it was the Dailey & Vincent's recording of Rawlings and Welch's By the Mark got gave them a much wider audience. "Jamie and I tried to make a pattern of always doing one of their songs," says Vincent. "They're not really into the bluegrass side of songs so much...Their style of music really fits what Jamie and I do. We put our little spin on it and bring it into the bluegrass field." It so happens to be something that we can perform with...an arch top guitar. It sounds old, folkish, but not so far out that the bluegrass audience doesn't enjoy it."
It took a long time to get to that phase of their career. Vincent grew up in Missouri as part of the Sally Mountain Show family band with sister Rhonda. He later joined her band, The Rage, and produced her, played with John Hartford from 1990-97 and joined Ricky Skaggs' band, Kentucky Thunder in 1997.
"It's the best thing in the world and the worst thing in the world to be honest with you," says Vincent, 38, about the family band concept. "You're around your parents and your siblings all the time, and you don't get any break from it. Like Cherryholmes. When you're traveling over 100 dates a year and never get away from each other, it gets difficult. The best part of it, you can depend on each other. When you're out on the road, everybody's working for the same goal. Everybody's trying to do their best for the music and make a living."
Vincent isn't complaining. "I've had one other job. I was in plumbing (for 3 years from 1989-91). I'm pretty good at that. I'd rather sing than be a plumber...Why waste that talent?"
Dailey, 33, started young also. He was on stage singing at three. At nine, he started learning electric bass and guitar, playing the former with his dad's band for three years and later picking up banjo. He was with local bands in Tennessee where he grew up and Kentucky like Twin River Bluegrass with his father, J.B., Cumberland Connection, Clear Creek and Highland Rim before hooking up with Lawson, becoming the tenor lead vocalist in Quicksilver in 1998.
"This guy in Alabama...had seen me in competitions around and local bands," says Dailey. "And he had heard some of Doyle's members were leaving, and he said (to Doyle), 'this kid sings high, and he knows your stuff'."