06 May 2017 (released)
06 May 2017
This is the second album from Mitch Hayes and the first release since he suffered from – and beat – throat cancer. His voice is a little rougher than it was but I personally prefer the edgier tone to his voice.
The first names that came to mind were Bob Seger and Boz Scaggs and he has a sound that sits comfortably between those two.
Essentially this is Americana crossed with Roots folk and the 12 songs here show a number of different styles and emotional positions but there is a strand of emotional honesty and passion that runs through all of them.
‘All My Heroes’, with a gently picked acoustic under his warm vocals, is a heartwrenching list of his musical heroes – Elvis, John Lennon, Jimi, Janis – with the chilling chorus line “All my heroes turned to ghosts”. His daughter Erin supplys some gorgeous and chilling flute, really making the number come alive.
He livens things up with ‘Hand Of The Devil’ with fiddle and banjo, his voice taking a harder edge as he lays out the story in the song.
The song to his daughter, ‘Ashes & Dust (Erin’s Song)’ bears remarkable similarity in content to some of Walter Trout’s latest work (although miles away from his style) giving credit to one who helped him through a desperate medical state. The emotion dripping from his vocal is worth buying the album for on its own.
As singer/songwriters go, Mitch Hayes is definitely a cut above the norm. I especially like the mix of styles and the way that he gently instructs the listener.
I expected to ‘kinda like’ the album but found myself in the ‘Wow’ camp. Lovely album.