Born with working man’s hands, a poet’s heart and an undeniably powerful voice, Wade Hayes continues to entertain fans and his passion for country music has never dimmed. He has always paid homage to the traditional country music of his roots while establishing his own legacy in the genre. There has not been a song in his entire catalog that has disappointed me and his concerts continue to be one of the best.
Now the Oklahoma Country Music Hall of Famer takes his admiration for classic country music a step further with Old Country Still Rocks, an 11-song set that celebrates his heroes, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Bob Wills, Merle Haggard and other icons due out November 17, 2023 on Conabar Records.
His first full-length album since 2019’s Who Saved Who, the new collection kicks off with the relatable anthem “Old Country Still Rocks" which will debut on November 3rd. The song, which is also the album’s focus track finds Wade name-checking Waylon, Willie, Haggard, Joe Diffie and other favorites while celebrating the swagger those honk tonk heroes brought to their incredible catalog of hits. These songs were part of his musical education as he grew up playing in Oklahoma clubs with his father Don, a well-respected local musician.
"I’ve always wanted to make a record covering some of my favorite country songs,” Wade says. “You couldn't find a better batch of songs to find out where I came from, what influenced me and why I do the style of music that I do. Honestly, I could do another covers album tomorrow of songs that didn't make the cut. There are so many great country songs that sound just as relevant today as they did when they were first hits.”
Wade puts his distinctive touch on such beloved hits as Willie’s “Whiskey River,” Keith Whitley’s “I’m Over You” and George Strait’s “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind,” but he was also mindful to serve up some more obscure gems like Haggard’s “Can’t Break the Habit.” He also delivers a poignant cover of the Patty Loveless hit “Here I Am” that breathes new life into the emotional Tony Arata-penned ballad. He concludes the collection with an uplifting take on the gospel singalong “I’ll Fly Away.”
Add to that a potent rendition of his pal Johnny Lee’s hit “One in a Million,” a song that is especially meaningful to him because it was written by his mentor Chick Rains. The song takes Wade back to his early days in Nashville when he played in Lee’s band until the wee hours and then would get up early to be at his construction job. Those long days of burning the candle at both ends inspired his debut hit “Old Enough to Know Better.’
Old Country Still Rocks
1. “Old Country Still Rocks”
2. “Can’t Break the Habit
3. “Slow Hand”
4. “Just to Satisfy You”
5. “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind”
6. “I’m Over You”
7. “Milk Cow Blues”
8. “One in a Million”
9. “Whiskey River”
10. “Here I Am”
11. “I’ll Fly Away”
Wade has also always had much respect for the artists that work with him to produce such great albums and he is proud to share and give them props.
Photo courtesy of Ashlee Vallett
Wade continues to tour and write new music but has also taken on what some would say "another life." He has recently developed some other pursuits that keep him busy when he’s on his Tennessee farm. He’s raising cattle, an Angus/Hereford mix and loves to spend time in the pasture watching the calves. Wade also loves making guitars and recently crafted a beautiful instrument from a 100-year-ole Ash tree that had fallen on a friend’s property. To make sure not to miss any updated news or tour dates check out: https://www.wadehayes.com.