Album labour of love for musician
A musical instrument repairer once described Steven Hayes’s violin as a junk fiddle made in Germany in the 19th century. Hayes wasn’t offended.
Inferior or not, the fiddle has served him well at many events over the years. It was originally bought by his grandfather, William Hayes, at Todd’s auction rooms in Invercargill between the 1930s-40s.
It doesn’t get used a lot these days as Hayes brings out his electric fiddle for most performances.
The semi-retired Progress Valley farmer is also a country music singer and guitarist and is in the process of recording his first solo album – Catlins Fiddler.
Music on the album comprised of ‘‘alternative country with bluegrass running through it,’’ Hayes said.
After he won the Southland Entertainer of the Year Award two years ago, fellow musos suggested he make an album. ‘‘I’m getting round to doing it.
‘‘I’m more than happy with how it’s going. A lot of people have contributed a lot of time and got behind it . . . it’s going good.’’
His family is helping him make the album, with wife Marilyn doing backing vocals and playing the accordion, son Lachie is harmonising and daughter Kelsi playing tenor banjo.
Triple Shot Invercargill is Hayes’s backing band. The album will be on sale later in the year.
The Hayes family have always been well-known in Southland music circles but they rose to national prominence when the band they formed with friends – Progress Valley Possum Pickers – was named New Zealand Country Music Entertainer of the Year in 1982.
The band made one album – titled Hum Strum and a Drop of Rum.
Hayes and Lindsay Broad, both foundation members of the Possum Pickers, will be supported by family and friends for a Possum Pickers reunion-performance at the Falls Hotel in Mataura on June 1.
Musician Steven Hayes is recording a new album, titled Catlins Fiddler.