MP3 Bryan Hayes - Just a Man
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11 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Americana, ROCK: Roots Rock
2-Time Winner for "Best Song of 2004" Presented by the Memphis Songwriters Association ("Soundtrack" & "Parts Sold Separately").
Just a Man is the debut offering from both Bryan Hayes and Retriever Records. The album features 11 original songs, which have garnished Hayes a loyal following in the Memphis/Mid-South area. The songs are honest, emotionally vivid, and colorful.
"It seems I've been writing these songs all my life," says Hayes, referring to the fact that many of the tracks have been part of the live show for years. "I felt that the time had finally come to make an album. There was definitely enough material. I just had to find a way to make it all cohesive."
When the time came to start working on the record, Hayes discussed the possibilities with friend and producer, Kevin Cubbins, the former Pawtuckets guitarist who, in recent years, has become one of Memphis' hottest producers/engineers, thanks to his work with Snowglobe, Blair Combest, The Glass and many others.
After three years of steady solo gigging, Hayes decided he wanted to make a band album. This was solidified in March 2004 with the addition of guitarist Shannon Cooke.
"Bryan knew exactly which direction he wanted to go with this album," Cooke explains. "Just a Man is equal parts Petty, Beatles, and Americana. More recent influences include Wilco and Ryan Adams." With both collaborators in agreement, Just a Man was set in motion.
With this album, Hayes proves he is a versatile artist capable of humor as well as sensitive insight. The songs are both autobiographical and character-driven. "Some of the songs were a little hard to air to the public at first," Hayes states. "But I think that's what being a songwriter is all about. Its sharing those personal experiences with people and hoping they can connect."
"I'm very excited about this record," he says. "Kevin did an outstanding job of capturing the sound and spirit of the songs. I look forward to working with him again in the future. Other artists had warned me that I would hear only the flaws and mistakes. But so far, every time I hear it, I just smile. Maybe that's just part of being a rookie."
Just a Man promises to bring many things: a growing audience, exposure to the media and critics, and some well-deserved recognition from fellow artists. "I'm just really excited right now," says Hayes. "It's a fun time in my career. And I hope to get to share this experience with a lot of people."
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