This week we welcome a new artist to the scene, Hayden Baker, and congratulate him on the upcoming release of his debut EP “Born in the Wrong Generation”! Baker has traditional country sound mixed with a fresh energy to share as he picks and sings his way into the Texas/Red Dirt scene.
The track “How It Used to Be” was the first single released from the project and is racking up streams on Spotify! With the seven-track EP (which includes one killer instrumental track!), Baker showcases a variety of his songwriting and guitar playing talent with honky tonk stories and tunes. He’s reminding us what we love most about country music and why this music makes us feel so damn good.
It’s clear to see that Baker and his band “Southern Symphony” are just getting the party started…
Texas Music Pickers: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hayden Baker: My name is Hayden Baker and I was born and raised in Katy, TX. I picked up the guitar for the first time at 15 years old and haven’t looked back since. I started singing at 19 and began writing around the same time and this past year I formed a band who calls themselves “The Southern Symphony” and we have played gigs opening for artists like Willie Nelson, Larry Gatlin, Tracy Lawrence, Joe Nichols, and more industry giants.
TMP: Who would you describe as your musical influences?
HB: My #1 idol is Brad Paisley. Reason being is I am not only the lead singer of my band, but I am also the lead guitar player. I saw Paisley at the Houston Rodeo for the first time in 2014 and told myself I was going to play just like that. Since that day I have learned almost all his guitar solos and implemented his playing style into mine. On the songwriting side of things, I lean more towards 90s Country. Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, and Clay Walker among others like Merle, Waylon, and Whitely are at the top of my list for sure. As far as some of the new cats, I’m a huge fan of CoJo, Randall King, and Josh Ward. I love what they are doing for country music.
TMP: How would you describe your style and sound?
HB: Our style is a mixture of a lot of different things. We lean more towards the 90s style where the fiddle and steel are the backbones of the band, but my guitar is what really drives our sound. On this record, we leaned more traditional, but we also love the red dirt sound and, me being a lead guitarist, don’t be surprised if on the next record you some more blues/rock influences. No matter what though, the heart of our music will revolve around the story the song is telling and the sounds of the greats before us.
TMP: With this being your debut EP, what are you hoping to accomplish?
HB: To get our name out there. As a band, we have only been together for about 1 year now but in that 1 year, we have accomplished more than most bands get to do in a full career. That is thanks to the people I have around me and the connections we have made through networking. But I know this record has the potential to do very well and I would love to see a song or two out on some charts next year.
TMP: Why did you call the EP “Born in the Wrong Generation”?
HB: When I was writing the song “Hell Raisin’ Music” I had one theme in mind; talk about how country music isn’t the same today as it used to be. Then that line came into my head while on the bus back from a college baseball game, “suddenly it dawned on me that I was born in the wrong generation,” which you will hear right before the first chorus. I have always said that I wish I was an 80s baby so I could’ve grown up around all the great music I love.
TMP: Our favorite track is “Let Me In”, can you give us some background on it?
HB: Let Me In is a beautiful song and a lot of that credit goes to Lyndon Hughes and all the guys at Stormy Cooper Media who produced the record and really brought it to life. But as far as the lyrics go there was this girl I was seeing who was having trouble letting the next guy into her world because of the damage the last guy did. I thought to myself that this is such a universal theme in modern relationships that putting this idea to music could turn out to be a beautiful thing, thank the Lord it did!
TMP: If you had to pick just one song from the EP, which song are you the proudest of?
HB: I have to say as a guitar player, the instrumental is the one I am most proud of! The name “Guitargasm” really displays my goofy sense of humor and it describes the song very well as it is just a 3-minute explosion of guitar notes. My guitar heroes like Paisley and Brent Mason and even Stevie Ray Vaughn always included instrumentals on their records and I’ve spent the last 5 years learning them. Now to have my own is my greatest accomplishment thus far.
TMP: What do you have lined up for the release show?
HB: We are opening up for my good buddy Jody Booth at Mo’s Place in Katy, TX on December 8th! My band and I will play an hour set starting around 9:30 and Jody will play after us. Don’t be surprised if you see Jody and me on stage together trading off guitar solos too! We will also have merch and CD’s available for sale.
TMP: As of right now, what has been your most memorable live show so far?
HB: The Willie Nelson gig we played on November 25th of this year. We played a 30 minute fully original set in front of 5,100 people at the Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land, TX and they absolutely erupted after every song. Opening for one of the Highwaymen is an accomplishment in itself but, to get the feedback that we got from those people just cemented the fact that there is no gig too big for me and my guys.
TMP: What’s your favorite thing to eat while on the road?
HB: I’m a big chicken guy so Chick-fil-A and Cane’s are probably my two go-to’s.
TMP: What does 2019 look like for Hayden Baker?
HB: We are lined up to play at the Houston Rodeo BBQ cook-off opening for a national act (Tracy Lawrence most likely). Once summer rolls around we will kick back into high gear with shows all around the state of Texas and you can follow me on social media to keep up with that. We also are already breaking ground on our next album and you guys can expect a new single to be released from that album sometime next year!
“Born in the Wrong Generation” drops tomorrow, Friday, December 7th but we’ve got an early listen of our *PICK* “Let Me In”. Check it out below!
Editorial contributor for Texas Music Pickers and a whole-hearted collector of Texas/Red Dirt tunes and the stories behind them. You can also find me on the dance floor.