Hadden Sayers


Hadden Highlights This WEEK!

What the Critics are saying.......

“…a masterful approach to song craft reminiscent of John Hiatt and James Taylor…-NoDepression.com

“…an unforgettable album.” –SomethingElse.com

“Solid songwriting meets with soulful vocal delivery and a brilliant guitar tone…” -Roots Music Report

On the radio:
#8 Living Blues Chart

3/23 KSYM/San Antonio
4/4 WOUB/Athens, OH


New this week:
WRRW/Virginia Beach, VA

Already playing:
KDHX/St. Louis
The Current/Minneapolis
Billy Block/Syndicated
WDVX/Knoxville, TN
WYCE/Grand Rapids, MI
KWMR/Pt. Reyes, CA
Public Radio East/New Bern, NC
WCBE/Columbus, OH
WDBM/E. Lansing, MI
WOUB /Athens, OH
KBCS/Bellevue, WA
KDNK/Carbondale, CO
KPFT/Houston, TX
KSYM/San Antonio, TX
KVNF/Paonia, CO
KXCI/Tucson, AZ
WETS/Johnson City, TN
WFDU/Teaneck, NJ
WHAY/Whitley City, Y
WIKX/Port Charlotte, FL
WLVR/Bethlehem, PA
WMKY /Morehead, KY
WNKU /Cincinnati, Dayton, OH
WQBR/McElahttan, PA
KAXE/Grand Rapids, MN
KOPN/Columbia, MO
WERU/E. Orland, ME

In print:
Blues Bytes: upcoming review

Blues Revue: feature in April/May issue

Blues Rock Review: review ran 2/22

Bmansbluesreport: review ran 2/21

Elmore: feature in Jim Hynes column for May/June

NoDepression: review ran 1/26

Midwest Record: review ran 1/20

Omaha Reader: review ran 1/11

Roots Music Report: review ran 2/23

Something Else: review ran 2/20

"Rolling Soul" CD Completed, release date: Feb. 26, 2013

Hadden and the boys have been hard at work.

On the heels of a year-long whirlwind tour the boys headed back into the studio to begin work on the follow-up to 2011's critically-acclaimed "HARD DOLLAR" CD and emerged with "ROLLING SOUL". A soulful rave-up loaded with Texas heat.

"I wrote songs in every form of transportation possible" Sayers said from his home in Central Ohio. "planes, trains, cruise ships, rental cars....even a motorcycle!".

"Hard Dollar" indeed kept Sayers and his bandmates: Mark Frye (bass), Tony McClung (drums) and Dave DeWitt (keyboards) on the road ALOT...thanks to the accolades and attention it received including "Song of the Year" nominations at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis and the Blues Blast Music Awards in Chicago for a much-celebrated duet with Grammy nominee and Blue Corn Music labelmate Ruthie Foster.

"Back to the Blues" struck a chord with blues fans and quickly put Sayers back on the map as one of the genres most talented songwriter/performers.

"ROLLING SOUL",promises to pick up where "HARD DOLLAR" left off. With a deep reverence for Retro-American Soul infused with wah-wah drenched stinging guitar the Album strikes quickly and takes no prisoners.

"Rolling Soul" will be available via all major services on February 26th. The Hadden Sayers Band will return to the highways to perform its content live in front of an ever-growing contingent of converts!

Dave Dewitt Facebook Interview Q and A

Dave's fave question comes from Sandy Davis Connors who asks:...........Who is the best van driver of the band?

Dave: The one without the smart phone. I'll just leave it at that.

Rich Grunenwald ‎"There are a lot of things that make up a great artist and musician. Knowledge of the music genre, competence of the instrument, how they work with others, etc. What do you think are the two or three characteristics or traits that make up a great musician, and specifically keyboard player?"

Dave: I can't add much more to what you've mentioned except listen hard and say yes to everything that happens.

December 30, 2011 at 12:57pm · Like

Janice Cass What type of music do you enjoy playing the most on keyboards?

Dave: I've been an improviser from the very beginning so jazz is where my heart is. i try to bring that spontaneity to all the music that I play. The challenge is to always be appropriate without being predictable. December 30, 2011 at 1:01pm · Like

Mark Pellegrin Hadden is very meticulous in writing his compositions. Most of his music is created with basic chord structures, but very intricate execution of the instrumentation and vocals. How much creativity are you allowed in playing with the HSB and how does this band rank with others you have worked with ? By the way Kathy (my sweet Texas Girl) and I really enjoyed the Muckey Duck concert this summer, looking forward to seeing you guys again.

Dave: Hadden was pretty specific at first about what he wanted from me, but has since come to give me a very long leash. Appropriateness rules supreme. The Mucky Duck is one of our favorite places to play. I look forward to coming back.
December 30, 2011 at 1:18pm · Like

Terri Kaye I want to know when you are coming to Dallas, or anywhere in Texas!!! if I order a cd, which i am going to do today or tomorrow would you sing it for me. Will be my first album from your collections. Why colors, now I have to choose.....

Dave: I'm almost certain we'll be back in Dallas sometime in 2012. Check the website for updates. Why colors? Collect 'em all!
December 30, 2011 at 1:24pm · Like

John Mustin Mr. DeWitt, what is your take on the REACH AROUND that Hadden does with Uncle Mark? Lol!

Dave: LOL right back at ya.

December 30, 2011 at 2:25pm · Like · 1

Krista Miers Mulvaine What is it about the HSB that keeps you motivated and energized creatively?

Dave: When people leave the comfort of home to drive across town or across the state to pay money to hear you play, that's all the reason anyone needs to be motivated and energized.

December 30, 2011 at 5:13pm · Like
Hadden Sayers Band Great questions! These will be asked of Dave as we drive around Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas next week...answers to follow. And, of course, Dave's pick for the winner of the free cd!
December 31, 2011 at 9:27am · Like

Sandy Davis Connors Who is the best van driver of the band?

Dave: The one without the smart phone. I'll just leave it at that.

December 31, 2011 at 2:00pm · Like

Dave Sawtelle Who are some of your favorite keyboard players currently and which ones from the past have influenced you the most?

Dave: Thanks for making me think about influences. Of current players, I admire John Medeski the most. He's brought improvised music to a young crowd and taken jazz somewhere new. He transcends the instrument, the genre, and the "bizness". Amazing. Early influences were all the 50's rock& roll guys ( showing my age here) Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc. My one and only idol was, and is, Leon Russell. His playing is soulful, to the point, and always on the mark. Did I mention he writes great songs of depth and humor? Sings his ass off too. I'm so glad he's gotten his due in the last year. I can't get through a gig without a Leonism sneaking into my playing.

"Back to the Blues" nominated for 2012 "Blues Blast" Music Award

The Hadden Sayers Band has received another nomination for their song "Back to the Blues" from the Hard Dollar CD.

Back to the Blues has again been nominated for "Song of the Year" at the Blues Blast Music awards.


Simply go to: http://thebluesblast.com/bbma/2012/12bbmavote.php and vote for "Back to the Blues" in the Song of the Year Category (you could also vote for Miss Ruthie Foster for female blues artist since she SINGS on Back to the blues!)

Hadden Sayers featured on new Ruthie Foster: “Live from Antones” CD/DVD package

Hadden Sayers will be featured as lead guitarist in the new “Live from Antones DVD” by Ruthie Foster.

Sayers performs as a member of Foster’s “Family Band” as they perform to a sold-out standing-room crowd at Austin’s legendary home of the blues: Antones.

The DVD will feature “Back to the Blues”; The Sayers-penned original song from his upcoming release “Hard Dollar”. “Back to the Blues” is a duet featuring Foster and Sayers.

“I’m really happy the song has been embraced by Ruthie’s fans.” Sayers said. "I’m also thrilled that the live version will be on Ruthie’s DVD and the studio version will be on Hard Dollar... and they come out the same day!"

Ruthie Foster Live at Antones DVD/CD combo will be released on June 21st on Blue Corn Music/IODA/SonyRed... alongside Hadden Sayers “Hard Dollar” CD.

The Latest "HARD DOLLAR" Reviews....

This isn’t the first album by Hadden Sayers, but in some ways it might as well be. Between 1995 and 2004, he released five records, all of which seemed to disappear around the time he did. For a while there, he actually retired from making music, until he hooked up with Ruthie Foster to play guitar in her band. That brought the bug back, and Sayers is in business again with a rock-solid new effort, Hard Dollar.

Hadden Sayers' Hard Dollar

As a songwriter, Sayers manipulates classic tropes, from blues, R&B, and rock into something not quite new, but plenty fresh. Melodies and hooks are his strengths, along with passionate vocals and a plethora of guitar licks. Hard Dollar showcases a variety of approaches to the blues, but is consistently engaging and enjoyable. One song does stand out above and beyond the others, though. For the most part, Sayers gets in and gets out, gearing his musical statements to three-minute blasts of hook-filled, energetic songs the way they did it back when people bought 45 rpm records.

But for “Room 155,” he stretches out to the seven-minute mark, and creates an epic slow blues of misery and mystery. This isn’t the first time a blues singer has wallowed in the pain of losing a lover, nor the first time a blues song was set in a motel room. But Sayers never quite lets us know which side he’s on. Is he being left by his wife or his mistress? Either way, he blames nobody but himself: “it’s hard to know what’s wrong or right when you don’t care about tomorrow night.” After three verses explicating the pain, he turns to his guitar to feel alive again. Building up over several choruses in intensity and storytelling power, Sayers proves to be as capable of providing an extended and complex solo as he is of knocking out a short and sweet idea.

Lap Of Luxury

Another highlight of the record is “Lap of Luxury,” a nifty blues with minimal backing and lots of empty space, slowly filled up by his bandmates (Dave DeWitt on organ, Mark Frye on bass, and Tony McClung on drums). Again, he provides a slight twist on an old idea. There have been blues songs about being a kept man before, but they are rarely so directly pleased about it. “I got a wealthy woman keep me living in the lap of luxury/wake up in the morning thinking how lucky can one man be.” His guitar solo is short and slickly tasteful, too.

Sometimes, when he moves away from strict blues, Sayers sounds a bit reminiscent of rocker John Hiatt. The enjoyably jazzy pop song “Flat Black Automobile” is one such occasion; the strange “Hippie Getaway” is another. The latter takes the concept of Hiatt’s “Memphis In The Meantime” as a jumping-off point. It’s time for a married couple to hit the road and get away from their overly familiar surroundings. But, once they hit the road, they are moving in a direction far away from Hiatt’s hunt for soul. Instead, it’s jam-band territory, albeit a boogie fueled by the style of Canned Heat. Sayers nails the guitar explosions necessary to get that ride going at top speed.

Texas Blues

At other times, Sayers is firmly in Texas territory, with a grasp of the shuffles played so famously by Stevie Ray Vaughan or his brother Jimmie in the Fabulous Thunderbirds. “Inside Out Boogie” sounds like a record that could have influenced either of those two if it had appeared on a jukebox 45 from 1961. But it’s a Sayers original, as are all the other songs here. His images aren’t original, but they work. His baby is a firecracker, she’s a jalapeno pepper. His guitar solo rolls into a perfectly constructed brief statement: “She’s a sweet little baby, she’s driving me crazy/my baby turned me inside out.”

“Crush on You” and “Burnin’ Up” also visit that shuffling sound, though the latter adds a hotter, nearly Led Zeppelin sounding approach for variety. “All I Want Is You” is an old-fashioned Texas R&B waltz with his vocals describing his love, and his guitar describing his lust. Foster comes in for a comfortably warm and inviting duet on “Back to the Blues.” “Take Me Back to Texas” and “Sweet Texas Girls” fulfills the mandate that Sayers sing about his home state and how it’s better than everywhere else, though both of these songs blur the border between blues and country music to strong effect. The album ends with “Money Shot,” a spirited, rocking instrumental which leaves us wanting more music from Sayers.

Steve's Bottom Line

At his website (www.haddensayers.com), Sayers has all his past recordings available for sale, as well as this one. This is one talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and it’s nice to have him back at the top of his game. (Blue Corn Music, released June 21, 2011)