Al­bum labour of love for mu­si­cian

The Southland Times - - News - Jamie Searle

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.

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