North Carolina-born and Oklahoma-based singer/songwriter Mitch Hayes whose musical roots go back to the 60’s and 70’s coffeehouse scene where he honed his songwriting. Those early trends are still audible in his Folk/Americana style. On June 9th, Hayes will be releasing his new album Gentle Man.
The album’s title track paints the portrait of Hayes’ hero, his father, whose heroic qualities are a little different than those commonly celebrated, and don’t derive from use of force or a commanding presence. Hayes praises his father for being, in essence, someone who listens, who guides, and who cares. A sparkling, buoyant sound reinforces the ideas of “grace” and “peace” reflected upon in the lyrics. We’re very pleased to debut that track today on Wildfire Music + News.
I wrote this song for my Dad, soon after he passed away in August of 2019. He was my hero and my best friend. He was the voice of reason I would often seek out when I felt lost or needed guidance. He was dearly loved and greatly respected by anyone who knew him. I want to honor his life and his legacy which is why I wrote this song and named this album after him. I miss him so very much.
Mitch has performed at venues such as The Commodore Grille in Nashville, TN, Opening Bell Coffee in Dallas, TX, Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood, CA, John & Peter’s Place in New Hope, PA and Café Artiste at the Jersey Shore Arts Center in Ocean Grove, NJ.
He has been associated with Folk/Americana acts such as the late Jerry Burgan, co-founder of We Five, Folk Soul Revival, Canadian band Corb Lund & The Hurtin’ Alburtans. He’s also participated in songwriter rounds with the likes of David Childers and Jerry Foster.
Hayes has three studio albums to his credit, My Reflection (2014), Heroes (2016), A Long Way Home (2020) and will be releasing his fourth, Gentle Man in June of 2023.
Hayes is also a cancer survivor. This experience left him with some changes to his voice and a new outlook on life.
I went from having a smooth, choral sounding voice to having more of a rough edge, like Bob Seger or Tom Waits. This was quite the difficult ordeal to go through but I was just happy and thankful to be alive and to be able to sing and perform my songs, again.
These days you can catch Hayes performing as a solo artist in venues and in songwriter rounds around Oklahoma and Texas, or on the occasional tour as a duet act with his daughter, Erin Hayes on vocals and flute.