In 2007, Daryl Hall began inviting music legends and promising newcomers into his upstate New York home to jam with his band, break bread, and wax nostalgic. The resulting online and MTV Live series, “Live From Daryl’s House,” has since become a favorite of music aficionados of all ages, introducing today’s rising stars in rock ’n’ roll and rhythm and blues, and exposing younger generations to the soulful sounds of decades past.
From joining the O’Jays on their 1972 classic “Love Train,” to performing a moody duet of “Sara Smile” with Smokey Robinson, to coupling his iconic voice with Elle King’s monster hit “Ex’s and Oh’s,” Hall has proven that what’s old is new again and what’s new can evolve into something magical and timeless.
“It never gets old,” says Hall of performing with other musical artists on his series. “Whether it’s people coming up to me to say that I’ve been the soundtrack of their life, or when people in their 20s let me know that they’ve been checking out my music, it’s both incredibly validating in two very different ways.”
For Hall, highlights of the series have included at-home sessions with “old friends” Cheap Trick — “they are close to me like family, which is great because we share so many experiences,” he says — and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, with whom Daryl Hall & John Oates are touring.
“He sings your songs and then you take over and split them up, and that’s the good part — he wants to sing your songs too,” Jones says. “What he’s doing, getting people out, giving them a platform, it’s a great thing. People love watching it, and you get to see different stuff, people that you have never heard of, and people with big honors.”
“A lot of it happens just by chance,” Hall says. “You never really know what’s going to happen. Most of the people on the show are blind dates, firsttime encounters. Because of that everybody is firing on all cylinders, everybody is at their best, and that’s what’s communicated to the audience, just how spontaneous and free flowing it all is. And that’s one of the things I love.”