Country music's power has always been in its ability to reflect real life, and few artists have a stronger gift for capturing both heartache and hope than Wade Hayes. In the past few years, the singer/songwriter has navigated a complicated journey that has produced some of the most potent songs of his already impressive career. Surviving stage IV colon cancer, not just once but twice, has given Hayes a unique perspective of the fragility of life and the strength of the human spirit. Those lessons learned are embodied in the songs on Go Live Your Life.
Far from being a heavy manifesto on pain and survival, Go Live Your Life is actually a vibrant tapestry that is both poignant and playful. The title track is an upbeat anthem that celebrates living life to the fullest while "Dirt Road" pays homage to his Oklahoma roots and "Remember the Alimony" is a tongue-in-cheek slice of advice to a friend on the precipice of another romantic mistake. "She is Home" is a tender love song about life's true priorities while "If the Sun Comes Up" is a powerful ballad about moving on. Anchored by Hayes insightful songwriting and brought to life through his warm, rich baritone, the songs on Go Life Your Life are steeped in country's best traditions yet have a contemporary edge.
Hayes was in his early 20s when he began churning out such enduring hits as "Old Enough to Know Better," "I'm Still Dancing with You," "On a Good Night" and "What I Meant to Say." A second generation country singer from Bethel Acres, Oklahoma, Hayes grew up watching his dad perform. The young guitarist's dream was to be the next Don Rich, Buck Owens' revered guitar player and one of country music's most legendary sidemen. "I was a big fan of Don Rich and I thought that's what I wanted to do," he recalls. "That's what I moved to Nashville for."
In 2009, he released the critically acclaimed independent album, A Place to Turn Around, and continued to tour extensively until his world came to a screeching halt when he was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in the fall of 2011. It was a surprise to everyone, even the doctors. Because Hayes was so young, doctors initially thought the symptoms were the result of him working out too strenuously and lifting too much weight. After extensive surgery and debilitating chemotherapy, Hayes battled his way back to health only to have the cancer return in the fall of 2012.
He's now cancer free again, and the title track of his new album was inspired by a conversation with his oncologist. "That's a song that I'm very proud of," he says. "When I'd gotten through cancer the second time and we were looking at my blood work, my oncologist was talking about taking my port out. A port is something they implant into either your chest or under your arm where you receive chemotherapy. My oncologist said, â€˜Wade, you were stage IV and now you're cancer free. We can take your port out. This is a big deal and I want to tell you something. I want you to go live your life.'
In addition to writing and recording, Hayes has been back on the road, touring this spring with pals Bryan White and Mark Wills. He also enjoys spending time at his 11-acre farm outside Nashville where one of his favorite hobbies is restoring old pick up trucks. He makes time to share his experience with cancer and encourage others fighting the battle. "I've met so many wonderful people during this journey, especially when I started healing and got out and began speaking. I've met some incredible, brave people that were inspiring to me and told me that my story is inspiring to them. I heard the story of a guy who had cancer similar to mine and he made it back to being cancer free. It gave me so much hope that once I got through the valley I thought, 'Man, that's what I want to do for other people.' I want to help them and try to give them inspiration and hope. With God all things are possible. I'm a living example."
Bryan White is a CMA, ACM, and Grammy award-winning country music artist, producer, and songwriter. Throughout his prolific recording career, he's charted 21 singles, of which 6 were number 1. His hits include "So Much for Pretending," "Sittin' On Go," "I'm Not Supposed to Love You Anymore,” "Rebecca Lynn," "Someone Else's Star" and "From This Moment On” which he recorded with Shania Twain for her “Come On Over” album which is the biggest selling female album of all time. Bryan has sold more than 4.5 million albums. His list of honors include a Grammy, The CMA’s 1996 Horizon Award, The Academy of Country Music’s Top New Male Vocalist, CMT Awards Artist of the Year, multiple CMA and ACM Male vocalist nominations as well as Canadian Country Music Awards. In 1998, White was voted one of People magazine’s *50 Most Beautiful People.”
White has toured with many of Country Music’s biggest artists including Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, and Bryan teamed up with LeAnn Rimes in 1998 for their co headline “Something To Talk About Tour” which was the number 12 top grossing tour of that year.
As a songwriter Bryan has written songs for a host of artists. Wynona, LeAnn Rimes, Joe Diffie, Diamond Rio, Sawyer Brown, and many others.
Bryan’s song “God. Gave Me You” was an international smash hit in Asia and has taken him there multiple times. The song came to fame when super stars Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza made it their theme song in the Philippines on the popular variety show Eat Bulaga.
Proceeds to benefit the free instrument loan program offered by the Bluegrass Music Academy. Tickets are on sale now. Preferred seating is $30, and reserved seating is $25. Doors open at 6:00 pm, and the concert begins at 7:00 pm. Bar and concessions available.