WARD HAYDEN and the outliers
After a decade plus touring and recording as Girls Guns and Glory, Ward Hayden, Josh Kiggans, Paul Dilley and newcomer Cody Nilsen sat down to assess the risks and rewards of changing the name of the band to reflect the changes in social attitude toward both guns and the place women hold in our society. The name change was inevitable but it's still risky business when you've established yourselves at home and abroad. Halfway through a 2018 fall European Tour the name Ward Hayden and the Outliers finally replaced and retired Girls Guns and Glory. As if that weren't enough the band released a new album consisting of cover songs the band had been playing out for a few years. Hayden is the primary songwriter so flipping the switch to cover album on top of a name change was particularly precarious for the gifted songwriter. Worry not! The album contains covers, yes, but these are tastefully arranged to reflect The Outliers, not tribute band territory. Nilsen brings a new dimension to this band after replacing former guitarist Chris Hersch. He's a tremendous player with loads of versatility and style and takes Ward Hayden and The Outliers into bold, new territory whether rocking it out or sitting at a pedal steel.
'Hackensack' is an obscure cover from the band Fountains of Wayne...yeah, the same "Stacie's Mom" Fountains of Wayne. This song seems like it was written for Hayden's countrified falsetto and high-lonesome heartthrob demeanor. Ward Hayden can deliver a love song and while the arrangement is an overhaul of the original he just nails this with a sledge hammer.
'Promised Land' was written by Chuck Berry during one of stints in the county lock-up and while this one stays fairly true to the original it's again an obscure cover made up with new clothes and a modern edge. Chuck Berry earned his place in the world...you can cover it, but don't fuck with it too much.
Ward Hayden is a great story teller and told a classic touring band nightmare tale about a gig with the legendary, for those-in-the-know, Derailers. This cover of 'Can't Stop a Train' was one of the highlights of the night. Slowed down a bit and minus the Derailer dual twang attack, the Outliers make it their own and it's as beautifully sounding in this form as the original. Another song that seems like it was written so Ward Hayden would someday find it and make it special.
WARD HAYDEN AND THE OUTLIERS
Ward Hayden - acoustic guitar, vocals
Cody Nilsen - guitar, vocals
Paul Dilley - bass, vocals
Josh Kiggans - drums
The Session Crew
Produced and edited by:
H. Nat Stevens
Dan Busler Photography