NASHVILLE, TN (July 13, 2023): JD Shelburne Teams Up With The Legendary Oak Ridge Boys For Inspiring New Version Of “Amazing Grace”

Throw in one of the most legendary country groups of all time on the track with you and that’s gotta be quite a bit of pressure.

But JD Shelburne was up for the challenge when he stepped into the studio with the Oak Ridge Boys to record their version of the iconic gospel hymn, “Amazing Grace.”

The tension between Saturday night bar stools and Sunday morning church pews is a central theme in many of Kentucky native’s songs, like “Neon Hallelujah” and “Church Pew Bar Stool” from his 2021 album Straight from Kentucky. 

So “Amazing Grace” seems like a natural fit for Shelburne’s next release – although he says that he never dreamed he would have the opportunity to record it with an iconic group like the Oak Ridge Boys:

“I am so honored to get the opportunity to record with the Country Music Hall of Fame/Opry Members, The Legendary Oak Ridge Boys on my new album. It was a once in a lifetime moment for me to go into the studio and record with one of the most recognized gospel groups, with one of gospel music’s most iconic songs, Amazing Grace.

When I emailed Joe a few months ago to ask if they would even consider, I honestly had no idea how he would respond. I was so grateful to get all 4 members to agree. I never dreamed I would get so lucky. It’s a thrill for me as a fan of their music and now as an artist to collaborate with the group.

They were so down to earth and easy to work with. Out of all the things that have happened in my music career, recording with The Oak Ridge Boys is at the very top of my list. I can’t wait for the fans to hear this rendition!”

And the song has also become a staple for The Oak Ridge Boys over the years, so when Whiskey Riff talked to Joe Bonsall and Duane Allen about recording the song, Bonsall said it was a natural fit:

“Amazing Grace is an icon of a song. We’ve been kind of known for it for years, and I think that’s why JD Shelburne asked us to sing it with him.

We’ve sang it at president’s funerals and all kinds of stuff. We love the song, we love what it stands for, we love the message. And when JD called and asked if we’d do it the answer was yes, we’d be glad to.”

And Allen says that while Shelburne has a different style than the Oak Ridge Boys do, once they got into the studio, it actually rubbed off on them:

“One of the things that I noticed when we went into the studio is that JD sings it a little more gentle, a little softer. When the Oak Ridge Boys sing anything it’s kinda like four Peterbilt trucks headed right towards you down the interstate: We’re wide open.

But his voice singing Amazing Grace was very gentle, and we kind of took that on as well. There was kind of a gentle spirit in the studio that day, and we kind of gleaned that from him, and that whole session took on that gentle spirit.

We love JD, he’s a great friend of ours.

When you sing a song like Amazing Grace, there are all kinds of experiences you can have if you just open up your heart.”

But while Bonsall says it’s important to put their own spin on the song, it was also important to respect the message behind the song – at a time when the world needs the message more than ever:

“I think there’s some songs that deserve a certain amount of respect, and Amazing Grace is one of them. And besides that, it’s the great gospel message of God’s amazing grace and you’ve got to sing it right.

And this day and age, the way the world’s going, a little more Jesus isn’t hurting anything.”

Couldn’t agree more – and that’s why we’re so excited to bring you the world premiere of “Amazing Grace” by JD Shelburne featuring the Oak Ridge Boys.

Shelburne also recently shared a behind-the-scenes look at his time in the studio with the legendary Oak Ridge Boys

I’m sure that’s a moment he’ll never forget, recording such a powerful song with such an iconic group.

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