PressHayes Griffin's "Midwestern Swing" tops Local Spins Hot Top 5 Chart for June 2020
In early June, the respected, veteran bluegrass guitarist released his solo debut album, “Midwestern Swing” – a mix of original tracks by Hayes and his wife, Quinn, and some classic American country and swing music from the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s.
The recording quickly caught on with fans, soaring to the top of the Local Spins Hot Top 5 Chart for June.
“That’s pretty crazy. Audience reaction has been really positive overall and it is extremely surprising to hear about how much airplay it’s been getting,” Griffin told Local Spins.
“In addition to WYCE, the album was picked up by Radio Tomares in Spain and a few stations in the southwest United States, so that was really exciting to hear. I think this one kind of came out of left field from a lot of people’s perspective since they had mostly associated me with bluegrass though.”
For a Michigan-bred album featuring country swing music by the likes of niche artists such as Tom Delaney, Cindy Walker, Don Reno and Red Smiley to catch on has been a pleasant surprise.
“I’ve found its fan base to be this really interesting cross-section of people – rockabilly greasers, honky-tonkers, bluegrassers, jazzers, folkies,” Griffin said of the album which also features the talents of lap steel guitarist Joe Wilson, singer Quinn Griffin, bassist Tim McKay and fiddler Jeffrey Neimeier.
“Western Swing was born in a very transitional point in American history and reflects a lot of that in its sound. I’m just glad to see folks still find it relevant.”
To help promote the album, Griffin – who also performs as a duo with Nate Roberts and with the progressive bluegrass band Fauxgrass – has been airing performances weekly on Sessions, a new live-streaming platform. He also said he’s “starting to work with Joe Wilson and (bassist) Kevin Gills to get something going for a remote project until we can unite in person for a string of shows.”
He added: “I think this is really the dawn of my solo career. I’ve spent years honing the ‘sideman’ skill set, but I’ve stumbled upon something that feels like my own with material on this record.”
Bluegrass veteran Hayes Griffin takes new direction with "Midwestern Swing"
Veteran bluegrass musician Hayes Griffin is set to release his debut solo album “Midwestern Swing” on June 2, 2020.
Fans might be surprised as this record breaks from his bluegrass roots, giving listeners an aural cocktail inspired by the sounds of American country and swing music from the 1930’s, 40s, and 50s. Original tracks from Hayes and Quinn Griffin are set next to “deep cuts” from legendary songwriter/performer Cindy Walker, Don Reno & Red Smiley, Tom Delaney, and Joe Gibson.
Featuring Griffin on acoustic and electric guitar, acoustic and electric mandolin, and bass, the album also features an all-star lineup of Michigan’s finest musical talent, including Joe Wilson (Steppin’ in It, The True Falsettos) on lap steel, Quinn Griffin on vocals, Tim McKay (Fauxgrass) on bass, and Jeffrey Niemeier (Fauxgrass, Saltbreaker) on fiddle.