Walker Hayes

Walker Hayes (8:30 PM)

Tenille Townes (7:45 PM)

Tue, October 2, 2018

7:00 pm


This event is all ages

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Walker Hayes - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Walker Hayes
boom. Walker Hayes uses the word often. “It just felt right,” the
breakout country singer says of the title his debut album. It’s a
celebratory sort of thing, he’ll tell you. Hearing that his buzzing single,
“You Broke Up With Me” is top 10 and climbing. boom. Linking up for
a national tour with Kelsea Ballerini. boom. That rowdy performance at
CMA Fest –the one that had the crowd singing every word of his music
back to him? boom. It wasn’t always this way. Not by a long shot.
Lately, though, Hayes has had occasion to bust out the word often. And
he’s not complaining.

A confessional, no-nonsense singer-songwriter, and one whose voice
and perspective brims with relatability, Hayes is a tried-and-true
Nashville standout. He’s an original in a town all-too-often rife with
mimicry and compromise. And, now, he has audiences flocking to him
in a major way. Conversational, honest and real in song, Hayes’
forthcoming debut album is the voice of a grinder laying it bare. It’s the
stories of a man who realized the songs he couldn’t help but write —
about family, struggle, vices and the sacrifices we make for a dream —
were his and his alone. “It startles some people. Like, ‘Wow, he’s really
putting out there,’” Hayes says of the raw songwriting that characterizesboom. and last year’s two break-out 8 Tracks releases. “But, that’s what
my heroes did,” he says referencing the Willie’s and Waylon’s and
Merle’s of the world. “I can only write something if I truly feel it.”

And if the Mobile, Alabama native has learned anything over more than
a decade spent in Nashville, it’s that he can only be himself. His music

— from the unflinching and honest “Beer in the Fridge,” to the spare
and tender love song “Beautiful,” to “Craig,” boom.’s gripping album
closer that documents a friend who came to his family’s aid in a time of
need — is entirely Hayes’ own, even if it’s not always pretty. Hayes
knows only he can sing, or yes, sometimes rap his songs. Nothing thrills
him more than having no rules and no restriction on his creativity. “As
an artist that was so freeing,” he says of the flexibility from his label, the
recently revamped Monument Records, to be his own man. “That was
like somebody telling you to write for no other reason than to just

write,” he says alluding to the freedom to pen attention-getting songs
like “Shut Up Kenny,” his ode to songs like Kenny Chesney’s on the
radio that can immediately snap you back into those memories. “No one
was saying, ‘Your song has to go on this radio station.’ They just said,
‘Go, do what you love and love doing it every day.”

He’d long had it drilled into his head that there existed finite rules that
comprised a successful country song. So, Hayes is the first to admit it
caught him off guard when listeners responded so passionately to the
personal music he was writing. The singer says that, in time, he realized
simply, “people want to hear the nitty gritty of life and the honesty and
the authenticity. Just because there is something that typically works on
radio right now doesn’t mean there’s not listeners out there that are
craving that personal experience that they can relate to.”

“When I didn’t settle for anything but the one-hundred percent truth in a
song,” Hayes continues, “listeners were intrigued the most.” This father
of six, who moved to Nashville on a hunch 12 years ago and for years
and struggled to make it work, relishes his current moment. He’d been
dropped from multiple record labels and admits there was a time he

wondered how he’d feed his growing family. Not until he began peeling
back the layers to his own life and subsequently documenting it in song
did everything fall into place. “A song should move people like a
conversation but be prettier and more memorable,” Hayes says of his
current attitude toward songwriting. “For me, it’s just therapeutic to

Hayes has always been the type that had to be cajoled into doing what
always came natural to him. The son of a real estate broker, Hayes loved
music — piano recitals, noodling on his guitar — but figured he’d stick
around home and log a normal 9-5. However, after constant needling
from his father, Hayes finally agreed to perform at a local bar, if only to
get dad off his back. It was a tiny stage, he remembers with a laugh —
“a small crowd, but there was applause after my songs” — and it felt
incredible. “For some reason, when I left that show that night I knew

right then that’s what I wanted to do,” Hayes recalls. He called his wife,
asked her if she wanted to move to Nashville, and she said yes without

He instantly fell in love with songwriting, landed a job with a publishing
company, and even got a record deal. But, things in Nashville aren’t as
easy as they seem and soon Hayes’ deals fell through. For years he
grinded it out: writing songs for other artists where he could, working
odd jobs to pay the bills, lying in bed at night trying to convince himself
to not love writing songs anymore “because all it does is mess me up. It
makes a fool of me. It strings me through all this up and down and
eventually breaks my heart.” But, of course, he’d wake up the next day
and want nothing more than to write another song.

In due-time he linked up with ace songwriter and GRAMMY award-
winning producer Shane McAnally who signed Hayes to his
SMACKSongs publishing company and soon released two volumes of
Hayes’ music for free online — 8 Tracks, Vol. 1: Good Shit and 8
Tracks, Vol. 2: Break the Internet. As if without warning, the music
quickly attracted a massive swell of popularity.

“It’s when you almost lose that you really realize that maybe you were
born to do this no matter what,” Hayes says. “It’s not about success or
anything — it’s where you belong.”

And now, with boom., Hayes has pulled back the curtain entirely and
give all of himself to his music, his fans, his family –everyone who has
stuck with him on this long and sometimes painful journey.

Just like his songs, Hayes’ live show is completely inimitable. Having
long played showcases in the round — ones where he’d sit on a barstool
and tell stories before performing a tune; he now distinguishes his shows
using a loop, he beatboxes, and he incorporates a backing band of
musicians into the mix. “The show is growing on a weekly basis,” Hayes
says. “When a crowd is so electric that you can feed off their energy you
feel kind of invincible up there. It is amazing.”

Hayes isn’t one to predict what comes next. All he’ll tell you is that he’ll
be heeding his own advice because, hey, if nothing else, it’s gotten him
to this point. “I started just trusting what felt right and what moved me
and a lot of special songs came out,” he says of boom. For Hayes, then,
going forward the process remains the same. Says the singer of the road
ahead: “I’m just going to continue finding out who exactly I am.”
Tenille Townes - (Set time: 7:45 PM)
Tenille Townes
One minute with Tenille Townes and it’s instantly clear that she doesn’t see, or hear, the world like everyone else. Maybe it comes through in how she learned to read by pouring through lyric sheets and liner notes, or how she starting singing by belting along to U2 and Shania Twain in the back of her parents’ car. Or maybe it will come to light in the thousands she’s raised and the miles she’s logged supporting the charitable initiatives she created while still a teenager. Or maybe it will simply come across in her stunning voice and wise, insightful lyricism, all infinitely beguiling for someone of her young age. But that’s the thing about Townes. She’s never operated by the clock or the calendar. She operates from her heart, and from her soul.

The Canadian-born Townes, isn’t quite like anyone else who has graced the city’s stages. With the lyrical fortitude of Griffin or Lori McKenna, the soulful nature of Chris Stapleton or even Adele, Townes is paving ground all her own. Working on her debut LP with Jay Joyce, the Nashville-based Townes started her journey to becoming one of country’s most promising new artists back in rural Canada, in the backseat of a car.

“I would obsess in the back seat over lyrics,” says Townes, who recalls drives in her home of Grande Prairie, a small town in Alberta, Canada, with her parents. “I would follow along to all of the words and sing along, and call out my favorites. Eventually, I started to learn all of the writer and producer names, just soaking it all up.”

Townes insisted that her parents – supportive, hard-working local entrepreneurs – sign her up for singing lessons at the age of five, which led to owning her first guitar from her grandparents at fourteen. It was perfect timing, as Townes had already started to explore what it would be like to set her poetry to music. While other kids were reading Shakespeare and studying, Townes added the craft of famed songwriters like Carolyn Dawn Johnson to her workload, developing her own narrative style before most other teenagers even headed to prom.

“There were a lot of things to write about at fourteen,” Townes says. “I’ve always craved what it felt like to step into other people’s shoes. And if songwriting was a way to step into character and make someone feel less alone, then I was all in.”

It’s telling that Townes’ first song came from a conversation in social studies class – she thought about it on the entire bus ride home and hurried to her bedroom to put her feeling to words. Ever since then, so many of her lyrics have come from that place of empathy and observance – a few years later, moments she’s seen in passing or discussed at the dinner table with her family or wept about alongside strangers have worked their way into her sonic perspectives. Soon, she was traveling to Nashville regularly to exercise this developing talent and falling in love with everything Music City had to offer. “Coming here for the first time felt like walking into a dreamland,” she says. She made the move to Nashville permanently four years ago, at just nineteen – driving 45 hours from Grande Prairie.

Once settled in Nashville, Townes spent her days songwriting and her nights at guitar pulls or at the Bluebird, studying everything she could. Eventually, she scored a publishing deal with Big Yellow Dog, and headed into the studio with Joyce to record her debut. Together, they tapped into her organic nature and her sheer ability to tell a story and emote it through the visceral range of her vocals – tender, bluesy, wise and full of wonder but never naive. “He has a way of pulling out people’s most honest self,” says Townes of her experience working with Joyce. “I always loved telling stories and writing songs, and a lot of these songs deal with things that are hard to talk about. Concepts about losing someone and asking hard questions and about seeking whatever your sense of faith is. Songs about looking for love.” Songs, most importantly, from the heart.

And that’s because Townes’ heart is huge. At fifteen, she organized a fundraiser called Big Hearts For Big Kids benefiting a youth shelter in her home town. To this day, they’ve continued it yearly and raised over $1.5 million dollars – Townes was inspired to start the event by a pamphlet her mother brought home one day, not an uncommon occurrence at her house. “We’d sit around the dinner table and talk about what was going on in the world, homelessness and loneliness,” she says, “and I grew up being aware of those things. The parts of human existence that remind us we are all more similar than we think we are. And those stories need to be told.”

After school, she continued this ethos by launching a tour called Play It Forward, where she spent 32 weeks on the road, visiting 106 schools and playing music for over 35,000 students. Meant to encourage leadership and inspire youth, it was a huge success and completely born out of Townes’ own scrappy sense of “anything is possible.” Some of the stories she heard along the way even inspire songs on her debut LP. The idea of community that she grew up with comes through, too. Her music is that kitchen table, her words are the experiences and struggles and moments of joy she wants to share, packed with her dynamic vocals and, at the core, that heart.

“Music pushes walls down you didn’t know were up,” she says. “A song will take you places you didn’t even ask it to, and I’m always thankful that it does.”
Venue Information:
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069

All lineups and times subject to change