PUBLISHED IN THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR Thursday, December 22, 1994

 

BY NICK KREWEN

 

THE TRACTORS are selling records by the acre, and no one is more perplexed than the country band's drummer, JAMIE OLDAKER.

While he admits that everyone in the band -- including vocalist and guitarist STEVE RIPLEY, guitarist RON GETMAN, keyboardist WALT RICHMOND and bassist CASEY VAN BEEK -- thought their self-titled album was good, the country community has taken to it by storm, buying 75,000 units of it alone in the U.S. last week and turning it into a million-seller in just over four months.

It's surpassed gold in Canada with 70,000 units sold, and the 43-year-old Oldaker says the feat is all the more surprising since the group has never toured, and performed only two benefit concerts.

"Believe it or not, we weren't even in the studio together until recently," reveals Oldaker from his new home in California. "We recorded most of our parts separately.

We got something. I haven't been able to put my finger on it yet, and I'm not sure I want to."

A February tour with BROOKS & DUNN will be the Tractors' first road test, but Oldaker isn't concerned. They all grew up as boyhood friends, and all of them have made their mark as performers with BOB DYLAN, BONNIE RAITT, LEONARD COHEN and LINDA RONSTADT among others.

Oldaker came up through the Tulsa music scene supporting LEON RUSSELL and J.J. CALE, working as a session player before hooking up with ERIC CLAPTON just before the 461 Ocean Boulevard  sessions. In fact, it's Oldaker who did the drumming on the first #1 reggae hit , "I Shot The Sheriff."

"We cut it in about two takes," recalls Oldaker, who's also toured with IRON MAIDEN and DAVE EDMUNDS. "In fact, we cut the whole album in three weeks. But I learned the blues influence from Eric, and one of my biggest thrills is when we played Live Aid."

Formed four years ago without Ripley as a backing band for RONNIE DUNN before he got hooked up with KIX BROOKS, Oldaker says The Tractors aren't the type of handsome studs to attract young groupies.

"We don't attract the 19-year-old dolls," says Oldaker. "We get the old divorcees with two kids looking for us. But we'll take it, roll with it and ride that wave."

-30-

DISCOGRAPHY

1994 -- The Tractors - Arista

1995 -- Have Yourself A Tractors Christmas

1998 -- Farmers In A Changing World

AS COLLABORATORS

1996 -- Various Artists, Not Fade Away

1996 -- Various Artists, Stone Country

AWARDS

1994 -- Country Music Association Video Of The Year, "My Baby Likes To             Rock It"

FAST FACTS

 

THANKS: Margaret Spence Krewen, Wade Hemsworth, Glen Nott

©1994, 1999 -- Nick Krewen, Octopus Media Ink

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