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Rider Essentials: Walker Hayes

by Mallory Arbour
Walker Hayes

During the pandemic, Walker Hayes and his family decided to make TikTok videos for fun, creating dances for several songs from his EP, Country Stuff, including the title track and I Hope You Miss Me. The video for Fancy Like, which features his oldest daughter Lela, became a popular meme and a viral hit through TikTok, having been viewed over 11.5 million times and received more than 490,000 likes and over 4,700 comments.

The American country singer-songwriter co-wrote Fancy Like with Cameron Bartolini, Josh Jenkins and Shane Stevens, and co-produced it with Joe Thibodeau and Shane McAnally. It reached #14 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, becoming Hayes’ highest-charting single to date. It also recently debuted at #20 on the Countrytown Music Network Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart. To date, Hayes has released two albums – 2011’s Reason to Rhyme and 2017’s Boom – as well as five EPs, including 2021’s Country Stuff.

We caught up with Walker Hayes to find out the things he always takes on the road with him for this week’s Rider Essentials.


The Bible

So number one – I take the word of God. I take the Bible with me everywhere I go. It’s always in my car with me, in my hand and in my backpack. I never not take it. It’s like a credit card, and I just love to be surrounded by Scripture. I’m new to reading the whole thing. I’ve never read the whole Bible, but I’m on a plan right now where you read so much every day and I believe it’s life changing stuff.

Ongoing text

This is kind of funny, but I have a text – an ongoing text on my cell phone to myself that I’ve been keeping for years. It’s a journal/song idea bank and along with it is a voice memo bank, so that’s where I store everything music related and idea wise that pops in my brain. I don’t even go to bed without that next to me, just in case.

Assortment of teas

Another simple thing – I always take a large assortment of teas, because vocally it stinks when you’re a singer and you have no voice. So, I always take teas to rehab my voice at night and just soothe my throat constantly. I really lean heavily on teas, honeys, lemons and things like that.

Guitar

Also, there’s a guitar – it’s a Gibson nylon string guitar. It’s my favourite to write on. It’s kind of lucky and sentimental to me, so I take it with me on the road for sure.

Tour Manager

And last but not least – and this is probably gonna make people laugh – but I don’t go on the road ever without my tour manager Brian Hillman, even if I don’t have a lot to do. I just love having him as a best friend and confidant out there. My wife often laughs at how well he pampers me and directs me and guides me through life. He’s very, very, very, very kind. I’m not a details person, but he is and so we match very well.


Keep up to date with Walker Hayes on his Facebook page here.

For more of our Rider Essentials series, go here.

Image: Supplied

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