Joe Walsh Takes Young Hunter Hayes Under His Wing

“It was cool because what he told me was, ‘This is your thing. Solo. Play. Jam,’” Hunter said of TV taping.

Hunter by Juan Pont Lezica/WMG; Joe courtesy CMT

Joe Walsh of the Eagles had the pick of the country litter for his CMT Crossroads episode, which pairs pop/rock stars with country stars.

So Joe picked several, including Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley. But Joe didn't forget the newcomer.

Hunter Hayes ("Storm Warning") said Saturday night (June 9) he still can't believe he was part of the Joe Walsh mix.

"I remember I shook his hand and he could see the fear in my eyes," Hunter told reporters at the CMA Music Festival. "Here’s someone I listened to and looked up to. And now I’m onstage next to him."

Joe eased that fear.

"He’s like, 'Dude, just have fun with it.' I don’t know if he said 'dude,' but he did say, 'Just have fun with it.' And that meant a lot to me.

"It was cool because what he told me was, he said, 'This is your thing. Solo. Play. Jam. Sing whatever you want. Don’t stick to the record. Do your thing with it.' It means a lot. It was magical."

The Joe Walsh Crossroads debuts on CMT June 23.

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