By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy
I may be a devout follower of heavy metal, but I am also a fan of good music in general. If I hear a piece of music from a particular artist and it stands out to me, then I know I will enjoy it, regardless of genre. With Kendall Lake, I loved her mixture of rock, hip-hop, and R&B in her material, as well as her flair. Recently, my PR friend Kelly Walsh of MSO PR turned onto this singer-songwriter who influences include Americana, blues, folk, and a dash of pop. Her name is Piper Hays, the newest songbird that could give Taylor Swift a run for her money. Let’s put it this way, if Bob Dylan got together with Stevie Nicks to make a baby, you would get Piper Hays. Not only does she write like Dylan, but also has the allure of Norah Jones. On the evening of March 8th, I was invited to a gastropub called the Social State House, located on the Sunset Strip, one block from the Whisky.
She put on an intimate set in the restaurants attic that also operates as a second bar. She was celebrating the release of her debut album, Vagablonde. Piper has an amazing set of pipes on her. Not only does she sound folky, but she has this natural ability to add elements of rock, pop, and blues in there to help set the mood of the song she is performing. She had her band backing her up, and boy can they play. Her lead guitarist, Nicolas Fresard, really stood out with his sleek playing; pure Eric Clapton meets Gary Clark Jr. He was not overly flashy with his riffs, and he made the sound so sweet. Drummer Cain Daniels and bassist Alex Gorchesky were smooth and mesmerizing. Piper played all the songs from Vagablonde, and they sounded fantastic live. From “Going Down Together” to “She’s Running,” “Say,” “Try To Do Right,” “Change the World,” “Dark Part of Me,” “Place in the Sand,” and “Just Don’t Know,” she owned the night. During the last song of the evening, “Let Me Be Me,” some of the audience members got up and started dancing. That was a jovial moment, and it was at that moment I realized she was meant for bigger things.
Full Piper Hayes gallery below:
After the performance, I was treated to an interview with her, arranged by the lovely Kelly Walsh. She told me that ever since she was able to pick up a pen and start writing music, she knew she was meant for the music world. We would talk about her record and how the people she has met influenced her songs off of Vagablonde. Her main influence is, of course, Bob Dylan. She even told me that she started out in jazz music, with her favorite trumpet player being her great-grandfather Sam Skolnik, who played first trumpet with jazz legend, Dizzy Gillespie. When I asked why she named her album Vagablonde, she told me the story behind the name that involved her mother and difficulty reaching her in London, calling a “vagabond.” We would discuss what the songs are about on the record, with “Let Me Be Me” being her favorite. We would go on to joke about our love for things Star Wars and Harry Potter, where we revealed to each other that we were both put in House Hufflepuff. She even told me that during her time living in London, she got exposed to little bit of the hard rock scene, and she actually enjoyed its sound.
Piper Hays is wonderful person who has a bright future in music. She is full of passion, soul, and it was a real honor watching her perform. I truly believe she has the looks, the drive, and the voice to go far in music. The music world can be rocky and shark-infested, but she shows no fear. I look forward to seeing her perform again, and as long as she puts out great records like Vagablonde, then the world will be her oyster. To Piper Hays, I salute you. Horns up!!!
Interview with Piper Hays:
Follow Piper Hays on her social Media: