Wade Hayes: Taking Charge (2009)

Wade Hayes looks back on his career—and makes a step forward with new music.

Over the past two and a half years, Wade Hayes has been playing a different role in the music business as the lead guitarist for country legend and Alabama lead singer, Randy Owen. Each night as he watched Randy perform, Wade would remember when he was center stage. “I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t [miss the level I was at in my career],” admits Wade, who scored hits in the mid-’90s with “I’m Still Dancin’ With You” and the No. 1 “Old Enough to Know Better”

“I love being out touring, and I love having records out on the radio. There was certainly times where it was trying and difficult, but I would love to be there again.”

With his heart still in the music, Wade has a new album, Place to Turn Around, which is available through iTunes and his website, wadehayes.com. He co-wrote 9 of the album’s 11 tracks. “There’s some stuff on there that you would think came off the first couple of albums,” notes Wade. “That’s just kind of my thing–that’s my liking. There are a couple of songs that are a bit of a departure for me. I just wrote what came out. I’m really proud of it and think there are a few songs on the album that would certainly do some business today.”

While the project may be new to his fans, Wade says that Place to Turn Around was something he spent over two years making. “I had been through a couple of record deals that I worked on literally for a year on each of them,” Wade explains. “Something weird–just bizarro–would happen. Either the company would change heads or there would be a change in power or whatever, and it wrecked a year’s worth of work. It was very disappointing to have that happen twice . . . I finally decided to do the project myself.”

On the album, Wade serves as producer as well as plays lead and acoustic guitars on every song. “It was fun, but it was very hard. I certainly understand the role of a producer now,” Wade says with laughter. “There were times I was wishing some of them were around when I was doing this, but good or bad, I had to do it my way.

“I’m anxious to see what happens with it,” Wade adds. “It’s a neat place in my life. I have such great fans who’ve followed my career since the beginning–and they are still rooting for me after all this time. I’m realizing that I understand things a lot better the older I get. I’m not a kid anymore, and I like it.

“I see the future being bright. It’s a blessing that I get to create music for a living!”

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