In the case of Moncton country musician Jason Haywood, he might have taken this to a whole new extreme. But not without good reason. Haywood released his solo debut Nothing Stays The Same in 2004 and re-released the record in 2008. In the span of those four years, Haywood put his solo career on the backburner, founded country band The Divorcees and recorded that band’s 2006 debut effort You Ain’t Getting My Country before exiting the group in 2008.
Though Haywood’s recorded output seemingly ceased to the rest of the world, the musician kept busy, relocating to Halifax for a period of time, and building friendships with acclaimed musicians such as Dale Murray and Rose Cousins. It was in Halifax that Haywood’s long-awaited new record A Thousand Miles Since Yesterday was born more than two years ago.
Jason Haywood celebrates the release of A Thousand Miles Since Yesterday with a show at New Brunswick’s oldest tavern, The Chris Rock Tavern, Friday night. The show starts at 10 p.m. and admission is free.
Joining Haywood on stage tonight will be Divorcees’ vocalist-guitarist Alex Madsen, Mike Porelle and Warren Butland.
Haywood’s love of country music was instilled in him at an early age thanks to his father. Traces of Buck Owens, Roger Miller and others echo throughout many of the tracks on his latest album, which is somewhat ironic given that Haywood jokes that he despised the music growing up.
It was when Haywood entered his twenties and thirties that he was turned back towards country-inspired music, thanks to the prominent rise of alt-country acts including Ryan Adams and Son Volt. It was via these modern troubadours of country-inspired music that Haywood discovered the likes of Gram Parsons, Townes Van Zandt and Gene Clark, to whom A Thousand Miles Since Yesterday is dedicated.
“My interest in Gene Clark initially came from my love of The Byrds’ music but once I got to listen to his solo recordings, my admiration for his music soon eclipsed that of The Byrds,” Haywood said. “After reading his biography Mr. Tambourine Man, I found a kindred spirit in Gene Clark. I love the way he always found new ways to combine country music with other musical styles and always pushed the boundaries of Americana and roots music ever further.”
Not surprisingly, Haywood has embraced the singer-songwriter style of writing and tells his stories with the same compelling nature as those he has drawn musical influence from. While some musicians are content to sing of the day-to-day, superficial things in life, Haywood’s grounded approach to songwriting serves his songs best.
“I feel that storytelling is largely absent from songwriting these days and I believe it’s a form that needed to be revisited,” he said. “I have written a lot of confessional, singer-songwriter type of songs in the past and this was a refreshing way for me to approach making this record.”
Article published in the October 12, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript