Ramblin’ Rhodes: Overachiever Hayes to perform here

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Ramblin’ Rhodes: Overachiever Hayes to perform here

Posted on: May 22nd, 2014 by tommyj

Click here to view original web page at chronicle.augusta.com

Hunter Hayes, who plays more than 30 instruments, displayed drum skills at the Stagecoach Music Festival. INVISION/ASSOCIATED PRESS

In the past few weeks alone, he has released his second Atlantic album (Storyline), broken the Guinness World Record for the most concerts performed in different cities in 24 hours (10 concerts in 10 cities) and just last week returned from a series of concerts in Japan.

The 10-cities concerts marathon was not only to promote his new CD but also to raise awareness about child hunger; one of his main charitable projects.

His musical star is so bright that two years ago he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame as its youngest member.

Hayes’s first concert following his Japan tour is on Friday, May 23, in his native state of Louisiana for the Bayou Country Superfest in Baton Rouge with Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Joe Nichols and Big & Rich.

His Augusta concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 29, at James Brown Arena will be his first show in resuming his 2014 We’re Not Invisible Tour.

The tour is named after his single, Invisible, which he debuted in January on the 56th annual Grammy Awards telecast. He co-wrote the song with Bonnie Baker and Katrina Elam.

Hayes has been hitting all the major TV talk shows since then, talking about the new release and its message of surviving childhood bullying, which he experienced growing up in Breaux Bridge, La.

Accompanying his Grammy performance were projected quotes about being yourself in spite of what others think including John Lennon saying, “You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are.”

He has told several interviewers that he was a “music geek” in his school days and suffered abuse by some classmates because of it. But, he adds, that he is proud of being a music geek and always plans to be one.

There is no question that Hayes got the last laugh. He plays more than 30 instruments and grew up singing in French and English influenced by his parents’ Cajun heritage.

At the age of 2, he began playing a toy accordion his grandmother gave him; an instrument that is a staple of Cajun music bands such as the one that backs up Grand Ole Opry star Jimmy C. Newman.

By 4, he was making local, regional and national TV appearances as a child music prodigy. His sixth birthday was highlighted by actor Robert Duvall flying in just to give Hayes a guitar as a present.

Duvall had heard then 5-years-old Hayes performing in a Louisiana restaurant and gave him a bit part in the movie The Apostle which was being filmed in the area.

At 7 years old, he was invited to perform for President Bill Clinton at a White House lawn party.

Hayes’ music career really picked up his junior year of high school when his parents, believing in their son and only child so much, moved his family to Nashville in 2008.

He signed with Universal Music Publishing Group as a songwriter and in 2010 had Rascal Flatts record a song he co-wrote, Play, for their Nothing Like This CD.

That same year he was signed to a recording deal with Atlantic Records. His debut single, Storm Warning, came out in May 2011 and his debut self-titled CD followed that October.

Hayes co-wrote every song, played every instrument and, along with Dann Huff, co-produced the album. Talk about your overachiever.

His Web site hunterhayes.com interestingly says that deciding to debut his song Invisible at the 2014 Grammy Awards show was one of the most emotional experiences of his life.

“I was a solid mass of nerves,” Hayes said for the Web site. “I was sick to my stomach almost the entire week before. We had a day off and I took a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to try to get my mind off it, but it didn’t work.”

He was worried about performing the brand new song for the music industry’s biggest stars in person and nearly 30 million viewers worldwide, but also because it was the first time he would be putting his message of child hunger out there the first time.

“Every time I talk about it, I get very emotional,” he added.

Those who watched the Grammys live or have seen Hayes’ performance of Invisible while playing a piano knows he had virtually nothing to worry about.

It’s pretty conclusive Hayes is going to be a major talent for a long time whether it is in the country music field or any other genre of music.

FIVE DAYS BEFORE Danielle Bradbery performs in Augusta opening for Hayes, the country singer from Texas will be seen performing for millions of PBS viewers on the annual Memorial Day weekend concert broadcast from the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol building.

She will sing on the concert’s 25th anniversary show on the National Mall along with actress Dianne Wiest, Broadway star Megan Hilty, bandleader Doc Severinsen and singers Jackie Evancho and Anthony Kearns.

They will be backed by the National Symphony Orchestra.

The concert airs live on PBS stations beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 25.

Bradbery, the 2013 season winner of The Voice talent competition, and Dan + Shay will open for Hayes at James Brown Arena.

Emmy Award winner Gary Sinise, who has been in Augusta several times supporting the Augusta Warrior Project, and Tony Award winner Joe Mantegna again will co-host the telecast.  Sinise played wounded veteran Lieutenant Dan in the movie Forrest Gump.

Hunter Hayes performs during day two of the 2014 Stagecoach Music Festival on April 26 in Indio, Calif. The performer will be at James Brown Arena at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 29. INVISION/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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