Sounds Local: Dave Hayes... the musician
What a lot of people don’t know is that long before Dave Hayes of South Deerfield became “Dave Hayes the Weather Nut,” he was Dave Hayes the local musician.
Recorder illustration/Adam Orth
James Maddock will make a stop at The Parlor Room in Northampton on Saturday, March 15, at 7 p.m. His guitar-driven and melodic songs are steeped in introspective lyrics that he sings in a slightly raspy voice that somewhat that’s reminiscent of Ray LaMontagne.
“Dave Hayes the weather guy
is scanning the sky
to see if it’s going to bring us snow today
Dave Hayes the weather guy
is just a little shy
posting to folks that he don’t know”
— Nerissa Nields, “Dave Hayes the Weather Guy”
Like a lot of people, my morning routine consists of pouring a cup of coffee then grabbing the iPad to log onto Facebook. I’m not interested in checking out who has posted a new selfie or the latest cute kitty video. I just want to see if Dave Hayes the Weather Nut has posted anything about the day’s upcoming weather.
As many of you know, Dave Hayes, a resident of Deerfield, is an amateur weather enthusiast who has a Facebook page where he clearly explains the weather as it pertains to us here in the Pioneer Valley. Hayes has been the “go-to guy” this winter as he has kept us abreast on all the various storms we have suffered through.
His Facebook page has close to 9,000 likes and has made him a bona-fide local celebrity. Hayes has been interviewed on local radio stations and been featured in a number of newspaper articles, including a Feb.10 story in this paper. Even local singer-songwriter Nerissa Nields (of The Nields) has paid tribute to him in song. But what a lot of people don’t know is that long before he was “Dave Hayes the Weather Nut,” he was Dave Hayes the local musician.
Hayes, who plays bass, has been a longtime fixture on the local music scene and currently is a member of the rock trio Colorway, the rock band fronted by F. Alex Johnson that also features J.J. O’Connell on drums. The band released its self-titled debut last year.
When I recently checked in with Hayes, I discovered that he has been making music much longer than I realized.
“I started playing live and recording back in 1992,” Hayes wrote in a recent e-mail exchange. “My first band was called Minibus and, since then, I’ve worked with a bunch of other musicians and songwriters.”
The impressive list of musicians Hayes has worked with includes Chet O’Keefe, Mentos and the New Horizon Band, Superkart, Heather Maloney, Lisa Palumbo and Rick Murnane. This past year he also performed in a Moody Blues Tribute show with Russell Brooks (Lord Russ) that was held at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield.
He and Brooks are also in the process of putting together a cover band called The Time Machine with the goal of playing weddings, corporate events, private parties and more.
Despite all his work as musician, Hayes seems to receive more attention for his weather reporting.
“When I first started playing music in my early twenties, I spent years thinking I would get famous as a musician because I loved it so much and had a really good ear for it,” Hayes said. “But then, for a lot of reasons, it didn’t work out that way. Weather, interestingly, is a passion of mine that precedes music, so maybe it makes more sense that I’d get attention for it. I’m not sure.”
Hayes, who described himself as a bit of a hermit, said that all the attention is flattering but at times is a bit overwhelming. For him it really is just about the work and he is grateful that there are so many people who value what he does.
He’s also happy that after taking a long hiatus from music, between 2001 and 2008, he is once again very much a part of the local music scene.
“I’m just grateful that I’m back playing music and working with such great players and singers,” Hayes said. “The first gig I ever played was with Alex Johnson at the Hadley Pub, so to be working with him at this stage of life is a nice full circle for me. And J.J. O’Connell is one my favorite drummers in the world, so I’m a lucky guy.”
For more information on Colorway and to purchase its debut disc, visit www.colorwaymusic.com.
Colorway will open for guitarist Matt Schofield at the Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St. in Northampton on Sunday, March 16, at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $15 and are available online at www.iheg.com and at the Northampton Box Office, 76 Main St. or charge by phone at 413-586-8686. Tickets at the door are $18. Doors open at 5:30 and arriving early is recommended for best seats.
Colorway will also perform at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, located at the corner of Cabot and Beech streets on Saturday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. This show is part of the Dark Dining Room concert series. Mark Schwaber will also perform. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at www.darkdiningroom.com.
James Maddock at The Parlor Room March 15
James Maddock isn’t a particularly well-known artist, but if you spend some time listening to his album “Another Life,” you will realize that he is a performer that is deserving of your attention. Maddock is a British singer-songwriter who has settled in New York and become an integral part of that city’s folk and Americana scene. Maddock is currently on tour in support of “Another Life” and will make a stop at The Parlor Room in Northampton on Saturday, March 15, at 7 p.m. Maddock’s guitar-driven and melodic songs are steeped in introspective lyrics that he sings in a slightly raspy voice that somewhat that’s reminiscent of Ray LaMontagne.
Whether he’s singing a pop gem, a ballad or rootsy folk tune, listeners can relate to the truth in his words, be it on a song like “If I Had a Son,” where he wonders if he would be a better person if he had a son, or the title track, on which he sings of all the things he still wants to do amidst the knowledge that he is getting older.
Maddock is currently on tour in his homeland, opening for Garland Jeffreys. The Parlor Room show is one the first he will do after returning to American soil.
Tickets are $20 and available at www.parlorroommusic.com. Advance tickets are strongly recommend as this is a small room and frequently sells out. This show is all ages and is a BYOB venue (beer and wine.) Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Sheryl Hunter is a music writer who lives in Easthampton. Her work has appeared in various regional and national magazines. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org