Monument Records recording artist, Walker Hayes, is a singer/songwriter originally from Mobile, Alabama. Hayes recently released his single, “Don’t Let Her,” a devastatingly powerful love letter about his wife, illustrated through a heartfelt conversation between Hayes and the hypothetical man that may take his place should anything happen to him. The single follows Hayes’ latest hit “90’s Country.” His debut album boom. was released in December 2017, which he co- produced with GRAMMY Award winning producer and songwriter, Shane McAnally. The 10 track album includes the RIAA certified Platinum Top 10 hit, “You Broke Up With Me” as well as the highly anticipated follow up single, “Craig,” which was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2018 AIMP Nashville Awards. During the fall of 2018, Walker headed overseas with Old Dominion for his first-ever European tour. Hayes has joined the likes of Kelsea Ballerini’s Unapologetically Tour and been on the road with Dan + Shay, Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion and more. In January 2019, Walker set out on his headlining, Dream On It tour.
December 27, 1979
We were lucky enough to catch up with Walker Hayes about his hometown and the inspirations he draws on to create his platinum hits.
If home is where the heart is where is home for Walker Hayes ?
I am from Mobile, Alabama originally. Born and raised there. But I currently live in Nashville, Tennessee.
What about Mobile makes it feel like home to you ?
What makes Mobile feel like home to me is the water. I spent a lot of time on Mobile Bay as a kid. My dad loved the water and basically raised us on it. Mobile is covered in oak trees, spanish moss, magnolias, and azaleas.
What are the people of Mobile like ?
People love college football. Born in Alabama, you are either an Auburn or an Alabama fan. It is a huge deal. People typically spend their whole lives in the town I grew up in. They might venture off for college/school but eventually come back. I like that about my hometown even though I left. I like that I can come back and there is always a reunion!
What is the most iconic thing about your hometown, what is it famous for ?
Not many people know this but Mobile, Alabama is actually the birth place of Mardi Gras. So we do it big with the celebrating and parades and everything around Mardi Gras.
We did not know that! Down under, Sydney is the home of Mardi Gras, it’s an event and a half!
So what’s the live music scene like in Mobile ?
There is a great live music scene. Some of my friends growing up are local stars. There is a southern rock/coastal vibe thing going on down there. Always good live music to their in downtown Mobile.
Has Mobile produced any other well-known artists ?
Jimmy Buffet came from Mobile, I think the band, Three Doors Down, did as well.
Are there any major influencers from your hometown that have inspired you or contributed to your career ?
Jimmy Buffet was my first concert. My dad and my high school choir teacher, Mr. Powell were my biggest musical influences as a kid.
How has Mobile and the people there shaped your music style ?
I feel like every song I’ve ever written begins in Mobile. If I am ever telling a story, I imagine it happening there. That’s just the place I remember most. The water, the streets, the smells, etc. I would guess most people picture their songs as they are writing them playing out in their home towns…even though we all live in Nashville now. HA
Do you feature or mention Mobile in any of your music ?
Yes, Mobile is always mentioned in my Music. Mardi Gras shows up all over my first album. Old Shell Rd. is in a billion of my songs.
Aside from the wonderful people in your hometown, who else inspires you in your music ?
My family, my wife and kids are big influences on what and how I write. They are always the first audience to hear everything…cowriters on everything really…so they have a large impact on what I create. They also inspire so many of my ideas.
We are HUGE fans of ‘Don’t Let Her’ and did learn a lot about your gorgeous wife Laney in those lyrics! We’re excited to be hosting you and your family in Australia, what are you looking forward to the most ?
I am excited to see as much of Australia as I can. I am pumped to watch my family take it all in. I would love to see the Opera House. We are also going to the zoo! I have heard wonderful things and can’t wait!
We can definitely sort something out for you! Final question. What can Hometown Fest audiences expect from Walker Hayes at this year’s festival ?
Expect a WHOLLLLLEEE lot of dancing and moving and shaking. It is going to be a party!