"That’s a big career, dude!” Jeff Bates says on the colossal task of choosing which songs to record for his new project Me And Conway.
Rather than run from the obvious vocal comparisons — not that he really did in the first place — Jeff Bates has fully embraced the influence Conway Twitty held on him and his career as a fellow Mississippian. In choosing the seven songs from Conway’s career, he chose songs from a specific era. “Because he was reinventing himself all of the time and to not make this album a whole tribute project, it felt best to pick a certain era of Conway’s hits.”
And that’s exactly what the “I Wanna Make You Cry” singer did as he weaved songs like “”She’s Got A Single Thing In Mind,” “Lost In The Feeling” and “I’d Love To Lay You Down, bates mixes in six new originals that have that Conway Twitty flavor.
“That all had a similar sound, and I fit my (new) songs around those," says Jeff Bates. "Sometimes it’s better to eat a slice of the pie than the whole pie.”
One of the special moments on Me And Conway, is the duet with Loretta Lynn on “After The Fire Is Gone.”
“No matter what you say about it, you’re gonna be bragging,” said Bates.
43 years after Lorretta and Conway recorded and scored a #1 hit with the song, Jeff Bates and Loretta recorded it and Loretta was an ace, as always. “She went in and sang it and it was absolutely perfect.”
Now, "After The Fire Is Gone" is their new radio single and it’s already garnering a great buzz with radio programmers across the country
It might not make an obvious song to send to a group of radio stations but it really does, especially to Jeff Bates with the singer saying, “A good song is a good song, and a good singer is a good singer.”
“People who listen to music don’t care [about the traditional style of the song]” says Bates. “They just don’t care about the age of an artist if they like the music.”
And Jeff Bates has a simple response to anyone who might be interested but is cautious of the classic country sound stating that “if you buy [Me And Conway] but don’t like it, I’ll buy it back from you. In fact, if you don’t like it, I’ll double your money back, no matter where I need to send it.”