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Hunter Hayes becomes Next Big Thing

Friday, April 22, 2011 – Will Hunter Hayes be the next big thing? The 19-year-old could be on his way because he won CMT's Next Big Thing.

CMT will air the premiere of Hunter's new video, Storm Warning today. The song, written by Hunter, Gordie Sampson and busbee, is the debut single from his forthcoming album set for release later this year. The single is available now at all digital retailers. Hunter wrote or co-wrote every song on the album, played every instrument and co-produced with Dann Huff (Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban).

Hayes will join Taylor Swift for select dates on her Speak Now World Tour 2011 beginning July 28 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Hayes, the Louisiana raised multi-instrumentalist (acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drums, electric guitar, mandolin and keyyboard), performed Jambalaya with Hank Williams Jr. in front of 265,000 people at the age of 4 (now tracking more than 15 million YouTube views), appeared in "The Apostle" with Robert Duvall at the age of 6, has played with Johnny and June Cash and Charlie Daniels, co-wrote songs recorded by Rascal Flatts and Montgomery Gentry and performed for a US President and Congress.

More news for Hunter Hayes

CD reviews for Hunter Hayes

Storyline CD review - Storyline
A few things changed since Hunter Hayes debuted in 2011, but the bottom line remains the same - Hayes has a syrupy smooth and sweet voice, but there's not a tremendous amount of depth there to his feel good material. Hayes struck it rich the first time out on his major label debut garnering 3 top 10 songs including "I Want Crazy." The Louisiana native also was a one-man band playing and singing all parts. That's not the case this time as he ceded CO-directorial control to Dann Huff. »»»
Encore (deluxe) CD review - Encore (deluxe)
Hunter Hayes rereleased his debut self-titled album with a few additional tracks and three rerecorded ones. In any other genre of music, the new songs would have simply been released as an EP, but for some inexplicable reason, country music seems to be reluctant to embrace that form. The 800,000 fans who already own the original may find it irritating to pay full price for 5 new songs. People who have not warmed up to Hayes maple syrup smooth voice and decidedly pop version of country probably »»»
Hunter Hayes Live CD review - Hunter Hayes Live
There is one reason why a Hunter Hayes live album is a bad idea. It's not because of his music, which is pop-country with a severe emphasis on "pop," but very catchy. It's not because of his vocals, which are reminiscent of Rascal Flatts' Gary LeVox after inhaling helium but pleasant nonetheless. It's because of the audience. If you love the sound of hundreds of teenage girls screaming in unison, this is a must-buy for you. They scream at the beginning and ending of every song. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Queen Taylor wears her crown well – When Taylor Swift brought Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks on stage to sing "Goodbye Earl," it meant more than just another star guest, on an already celebrity-packed, five-night attendance record-breaking Los Angeles concert run. This duet also brought into clear focus the truth that Swift's huge success unintentionally fulfilled the... »»»
Concert Review: Mandolin Orange commands the room – Mandolin Orange presents a simple picture: two members, sharing fiddle, mandolin and guitar and two powerful voices. As Mandolin Orange, Emily Franz and Andrew Marlin command the room. The duo formed in Carrboro, N.C. a few years back, and have released an impressive series of CDs over the last few years, most recent "Such Jubilee" on Yep Roc Records.... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

No matter what you say, it's The Deslondes In the spirit of hard-hitting journalism, it seemed logical to ask Deslondes vocalist/guitarist Riley Downing the Mike-Wallace-from-60-Minutes question that has to be on everyone's mind: How the hell do you say the New Orleans-based band's name? "It's pronounced 'dez lawn,'" says Downing. "I know there's different ways that people have pronounced it over the course of history...... »»»
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Start Here CD review - Start Here
Maddie & Tea (aka Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye) start their biggest song "Girl in a Country Song" with a warning, "No country music was hurt in the making of this song." That warning also applies to the remaining 10 songs, which is about as country sounding as music seems to get these days for most artists.  »»»
Wild Ones CD review - Wild Ones
Kip Moore's sophomore release has been a long time in coming - 3 1/2 years - a surprise considering how well he did with his debut, "Up All Night," and its big hits ("Somethin' 'Bout a Truck," "Beer Money"). Moore has said he spent time expanding his sound - and he surely has done that - although two failed singles doubtlessly didn't help. »»»
Common Law Wife CD review - Common Law Wife
Slipping into the spot vacated by Nanci Griffith, South Carolinian Angela Easterling provides her perspective on modern country music, motherhood, the state of her nation, lost love, hometown shut downs and matrimony.  »»»
Michael Ray CD review - Michael Ray
The big single from Michael Ray's self-titled album, "Kiss You in the Morning," is one of the most annoying songs of the summer. It's an unbridled lust lyric that describes one man's pursuit of a girl in a country song. Ray is better on the driving song, "Drivin' All Night," though. Maybe it's the fact that Ray name-drops both Steve Earle and Tom Petty on it. »»»