If you pick up a copy of This Highway, the new album from New York-based Zephaniah Ohora with the 18 Wheelers, you might feel that you have stumbled upon a lost album from Merle Haggard and The Strangers circa 1973. Ohora takes that statement as the compliment that it was intended to be.
'I have a band - and we play weekly, about three hours a week, all Merle Haggard songs; a pretty broad range from the '60s all the way up through the 1990s,' the singer admits to Billboard. 'I grew up in the church, and played music since I was a kid, and I've gotten into all kinds of genres and music. I didn't grow up listening to Merle Haggard, but when I first heard it, it spoke to me. I've been collecting country records, and listening to it for about fifteen years, and I think Merle's catalog really captured the country sound in a way that remains timeless.'
'It was just a goal to capture the moment with the musicians we had at the time,' Ohara says. I just wanted to make a record that I would enjoy listening to if it wasn't me. I think that people get a little hung-up on the throwback sound where they want to hear something modern and fresh, but I think country music is unique in the sense that you can still follow the format, and play it how it was initially meant to be played - especially during the '60s, which was the golden era of it.'
- Way Down in My Soul
- I Do Believe I've Had Enough
- Take Your Love out of Town
- This Highway
- Songs My Mama Sang
- High Class City Girl from the Country
- I Can't Let Go (Even Though I Set You Free)
- She's Leaving in the Morning
- He Can Have Tomorrow (I'll Take Yesterday)
- Somethin' Stupid
- For a Moment or Two