By Josh Howard
As echoed in the title track of his new album Storyline, Breaux Bridge’s Hunter Hayes sets out to take his future in his own hands and make a difference in the world.
Hayes has made audiences feel wanted and far from invisible since he debuted his Grammy-nominated self-titled album in 2011, and he has no intentions on stopping his world-domination of country music any time soon. Before returning to the boot for the fifth annual Bayou Country Superfestthis weekend, he put his stamp on history as he broke the Guinness World Record for playing the most live concerts in 24 hours in different cities.
The country swooner played 10 concerts in 10 cities across New England, in one day. The record was previously held by rock superstars The Flaming Lips, when they performed eight concerts in under a day, in 2012. While setting the record, Hayes brought an equal amount of attention along to a charity dear to his heart, Child Hunger Ends Here.
Hayes spoke about the charitable effort to music juggernaut Country Music Television before embarking on the trek.
“It’s a chance for us to not only tell people about this issue … [but] also getting to set up some places to actually donate meals, donate food — any sort of donation, really,” he said before the whirlwind tour. “Anything you can do to help obviously … to take advantage of every opportunity you get.”
Though he shares his age with an unfortunately catchy Taylor Swift jam, the 22-year-old artist approaches his music the vigor of an old soul and retells it beautifully for today’s generation. In a recent article with The Boston Globe, Hayes shared his desire to hold on to tradition and hone in on the authenticity of his bayou upbringing.
“I wanted to go back in time to give it more depth,” Hayes shared. “I wanted (the new album) to feel like it could have been an older record.”
There’s no mistaking Hayes’ mature nature and his Cajun undertones in blues and jazz in tracks like “Nothing Like Starting Over” and “Secret Love,” while true Acadiana pride shines in the fun “Wild Card.”
“If I’m going to introduce music to someone, then it’s my responsibility to find my sound by taking all the things I listen to and love and make something new,” Hayes said.
Hayes will cruise down I-10 into Tiger Stadium on the main stage behind fellow country artists Jason Aldean and Eric Church on Sunday night of BCS.
With Louisiana being a smorgasbord of music from country to jazz and everything in between, it’s no wonder we’ve birthed legends such as Louis Armstrong, Tim McGraw and Slim Harpo. Now, Louisiana’s beautiful culture will continued to be shared through the world via rising artists like Hunter Hayes.