Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Mick Hayes
Mick Hayes began his career at age seven. When he was given his first guitar by his parents, who were both accomplished musicians in their own right. Largely self taught by accompanying his families diverse record collection Mick developed a love for the blues and began crafting his unique style.
Mick joined the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame group Only Humen when he was 20. It was with this band where he began to learn his trademark showmanship and a four-gig-per week work ethic. As a member of Only Humen, he opened for Marshall Tucker and Molly Hatchet, and contributed on four songs of Only Humen’s release, Slightly Twisted Fiction. After three years with Only Humen,Mick decided to form The Mick Hayes Band in 2003. Acclaim arrived quickly in the Trio’s first year, with Mick earning a People’s Choice Award for Best Blues Guitarist, and placing 10th in the USA International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
The Trio kept chugging along in 2004, picking up five People’s Choice Awards for Best Blues Band, Best Blues Bassist, Best Blues Drummer, Best Blues Male Vocalist, and Best Blues Guitarist. 2005 proved to be a busy one – between playing over 125 gigs in five months, Mick released a solo acoustic album, “Michael…The Other Side of Me”and went on a Canadian Tour in support of Nigel Mack and the Blues Attack. Fueled by their success, the Trio returned to the studio to begin work on their first full-length release, and decided to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia in September 2004.
The Atlanta phase was an interesting one for the Trio. On one and, they toured the Southwest and recorded Notebook Full of Goodbyes with engineer/producer Jimmy Daniel (The Killers, Nicklelback, Dave Matthews, Lenny Kravitz, Brad Paisley). The previous Buffalo recording sessions resulted in a six-song EP, Segue, which sold 3,000 copies. On the other hand, Atlanta was where, in Mick’s words, ” it all came unglued”. The Trio had fallen apart, and Mick broke out as a solo artist, spending time in Los Angeles, Orlando, San Antonio (for three rounds on American Idol), and Nashville, where he stayed at the home of two-time Grammy-winning Chicago guitarist Bill Champlin.
With the life-changing southern venture behind him, Mick returned home to Western New York. The first order of business was to put together another band and take the area by storm once again. It didn’t take long to settle on the current lineup of bassist David Frost and drummer Todd Mazurek. Instantly, the newly formed Mick Hayes Band meshed and created a modern blues sound. Once again, the awards came fast and furious- the band earned BMAs for Best Blues Guitarist and Best Crossover Blues Band in 2007; Best Blues Guitarist, Best Blues Male Vocalist, Best Blues bassist, Best Blues Drummer and Best Crossover Blues Band in 2008. The gigs were plentiful too – highlighted by opening for Traffic’s Dave Mason in 2007 and Robin Trower in 2008. A July, 2008 gig in support of Allman Brothers co-founder Dickie Betts and Great Southern ended with the headliners applauding Mick and the band off to the side of the stage – a flattering moment indeed.