Bucky Hayes Releases Latest, a Study of Two Worlds

Bucky Hayes

Bucky Hayes lives in New York City, where he performs regularly and widely. But in his heart of hearts, he’s a Southern boy.

Hayes was born — as was the country music he plays — in Nashville, and he grew up in Florida and Georgia. Though he has adapted to the fast, energetic pace of life in America’s most populous city, his soul stays true to the South. Bucky Hayes proves this fact on 100 Miles to Macon, his debut album with his backing band, The Commonwealth.

Bucky Hayes Inhabits Two Worlds

Today, Bucky Hayes blends the soul and country sounds of his childhood home with the rock and roll attitude of NYC. They’re on display, in roughly equal measure, on 100 Miles to Macon.

“100 Miles to Macon,” the title track and lead single, was written at Bucky Hayes’ grandfather’s house in Metter, Georgia — located 100 miles from Macon.

It’s steeped in its setting, a soft, laidback track. It opens with Hayes vocals, smooth but with a bit of gravel in ‘em, and an organ reminiscent of The Wallflowers, circa 2005’s Rebel, Sweetheart. The chorus picks up strongly, with Allman Brothers-esque piano and a true country rock guitar tone.

A distinctly different tune, “Sweet June” gets a lot of play in Bucky Hayes and the Commonwealth’s live shows.

Here — and elsewhere throughout the album — Hayes channels Bob Dylan, both in his more blues rock sensibilities and in his vocal cadence. A bigger sound overall, the influence the energy of New York City has had on Bucky Hayes is undeniable on this track. A strummed acoustic guitar keeps it grounded in country while prowling, gritty, blues-inflected rock guitar solos steal the show.

Bringing It All Together

If 100 Miles to Macon is anything, it’s a showcase. It showcases Buckey Hayes’ upbringing and his current life, juxtaposing the two. It showcases his talent as a songwriter. And it showcases his band’s talent.

Keyboardist Bryan Trenis shines throughout, contributing key elements to tracks like “Leave The Light On,” “Round Round Round,” and “Loretta Rae” — as does guitarist Patrick Hay, shredding on “Sweet June” and diving deep into that country sadness on “The Times You Chose To Be In My Arms.” Bassist Bobby McCullough and drummer Sonny Ratcliff do their best work on the album’s closer, “We Gonna Get Stronger Somehow.”

It’s a fitting resolution to an album which, at its core, is about the very human process of continual stagnation and rebirth.

100 Miles to Macon drops on September 9th followed by Bucky Hayes and the Commonwealth celebrating with an album release show at New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall on Sept 10th.

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