FORT LORAMIE — Ask Walker Hayes about the impact music has made in his life and he’ll flat out tell you it’s been huge.
Good times … bad times? Music has been a constant ingredient in the mix.
Being able to share some of those experiences is something the Alabama native looks forward to every time he gets on stage.
“My hope is to give people what music has already given me. It’s given me a bigger, more hopeful perspective on life in general,” said Hayes, who will visit Fort Loramie Friday, July 12, for a Saloon Stage performance at Country Concert 2019. “Music has reminded me that I’m not alone. It’s my life experiences put to music and my tragedies and battles with recovery. I hope that some of the stories from my life can be an arm around the shoulders of those out there that are listening. And on a lighter side, for those that might not need that, maybe it’s providing an escape.
“Music is an escape from the realities of life and lightens my load,” he added. “That’s my purpose.”
So far, fans are getting the message.
Hayes’ second studio album – “Boom” on Monument Records – has been streamed more than 260 million times and features the platinum hit “You Broke Up With Me” as well as fan favorites “Halloween” and “Beautiful.”
“I consider my fans the most open-minded people that country music has to offer. I understand that my music is very specific and detail oriented. It is about my life and I am so appreciative to fans for allowing me to be universal,” he said during a recent phone interview. “I do not thrive in the commercial writing department … or the ‘chasing what’s going on’ department. I thrive when there are no walls or barriers, and I am able to speak the truth and deliver it in a way that is specific to me.
“That’s also what makes my fans so vivacious and passionate about ‘Boom,’” he continued. “It’s been encouraging as we move forward and continue making music that that’s what I want to feed my fans. I’ve always wanted to grow and get better. (My fans) get the truth. They can smell B.S. from a mile away.”
Hayes said he’s looking forward to a return trip to Ohio to unveil his new stage show and latest music.
“I can’t wait to come and show fans the full band experience,” he said. “90s Country’ and ‘You Broke Up With Me’ aren’t the only hits in the set. It’s a fun live set. We’ve got our craft honed and the latest edition to my live set is ‘Don’t Let Her,’ – my latest single. Every day I’m itching to get to that song.”
Hayes penned the song as a tribute to his wife, Laney.
“It was a love letter to her. I’m always looking for unique ways to express my love for my wife” he said. “She’s heard every love song under the sun and she knows when I’m just trying to write the right thing, and she knows when it’s true. It could be about no one BUT her. I really think it got her in the ‘feels.’ When I texted her the chorus it made her cry, so I knew we were on to something special.”
The Fort Loramie performance is just one of dozens this summer for the 39-year-old father of six as he and his wife navigate summer break and being on the road.
“A lot of people ask how you juggle it all, but it’s just like every other job. I have to support my family. It’s my 9 to 5. The hours are creative … but my wife and kids appreciate the work that is offered to me, and every night me and my band take the stage we remind ourselves just how lucky we are that this is our occupation,” he said. “Last week I brought two of my kids out to two fairs in a row and afterward we rode rides and ate fair food all night, so I get to make some unique memories with my family.”
To learn more about Walker Hayes, visit his website at walkerhayes.com.
Ticket information and to see a complete lineup for this year’s Country Concert, go to countryconcert.com.