The former roughneck makes music for “good hardworking people.”
Mississippi native Fordie Hays comes from a long line of singers, song writers, and guitar players. Attending a Travis Tritt concert at the age of 5 sparked his dreams of making his own music for his own fans someday. After Hays met award-winning songwriter Tommy Barnes the dream starting becoming real when their association produced Hays’ first single, “Life in the Slow Lane.”
C&I caught up with Hays on the occasion of the release of his single “More in This Glass.” Check out the premiere and his Good Mood Playlist below.
Cowboys & Indians: For people who aren’t familiar with you and your music, what’s the short introduction?
Fordie Hays: For those who don’t know me, I’m a Mississippi native that’s been recording music since 2010. I’m a former oil rig man who spent six months on the rig to go back and record and tour my music the other six months of the year. I’m a father of two and live on a farm, so if I’m not recording or touring that’s where you’ll find me. My music is for good hardworking people who love traditional country music.
C&I: If you label your kind of music, what do you call it?
Hays: I would describe my style of music as traditional country.
C&I: Where did you grow up and what music did you grow up listening to that influenced the music you make today?
Hays: I was born and raised in Mendenhall, Mississippi. I grew up listening to old-school country artists like Gary Stewart, George Jones, and Vern Gosdin. I have always loved classic country music.
C&I: What’s the story behind the song we’re premiering here, “More in This Glass”? How did it come together?
Hays: My producer called me one day after five to six months of looking for new songs for me to record. He said he had found the perfect song for me and asked how fast I could come by the studio. I went right on over. Being the jokester he is, my producer purposely played a song he knew I wouldn’t like. I totally fell for it and thought there was no way I was going to record that song, but the next song he played for me was “More in This Glass,” which I loved immediately. He smiled at me and said, “That’s your No. 1.”
C&I: What is your favorite lyric line from this song? Why is it your favorite?
Hays: My favorite line is “It hurts a little more than what I am letting on.” I think that lyric is so true when it comes to a man showing his feelings.
C&I: Who’s playing on it? Where was it recorded and what was that session like?
Hays: The players on the song are Jeff King on electric guitar, Mike Brignardello on bass, Pat McGrath on acoustic guitar, Tommy Harden on drums, and Jeff Silvey on piano and B3 organ. Recording with these guys was a blast. Each of them is so talented at what they do. We all had a great time working together to create this song that means so much to all of us.
C&I: Is there anything in particular about this song specifically that makes it really resonate for you and your fans?
Hays: I love the sweet, heartfelt songs. I think the fans feel the same. “More in This Glass” is one of those. You can sit back and close your eyes and you feel like you’re there in the song. Those have always been the songs I love the best.
C&I: What’s next for you?
Hays: Next, I am going to release a music video for “More in This Glass.” Then it’s back to the studio to record some new music. I am very excited to get in there and record more songs.
Fordie Hays’ Good Mood Playlist
“Still Doin’ Time” by George Jones
“Don’t Get Me Started” by Rhett Akins
“That Ain’t No Way to Go” by Brooks & Dunn
“Rose Colored Glasses” by John Conlee
“Home” by Alan Jackson
“Right Where I Need to Be” by Gary Allan
“Outta My Head” by Craig Campbell
“Whiskey Trip” by Gary Stewart
“Run” by George Strait
“John Deere Green” by Joe Diffie
Photography: Images courtesy Adkins Publicity