The Vincent Hayes Project

Grand Rapids, MI


No genres set


Vincent Hayes, David Alves, Donnie Hugley, Doc Yankee




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Band Description

“Inspired, persuasively pensive guitar work that might even cause Clapton to raise an eyebrow in appreciation. Two thumbs up!” -Big City Rhythm & Blues

"Man, I like what you guys do!" -Steve Miller

Nominated by the Blues Foundation for a prestigious 2011 Blues Music Award for "Best New Artist Debut" for their internationally successful debut CD, "Reclamation", the West Michigan-based quartet has carved a rapidly growing reputation as one of the favorite roots and blues bands on the horizon.

Recorded with producer/engineer Glenn Brown (Kid Rock “Rebel Soul”) on the infamous Muscle Shoals Neve console, Reclamation was released in early 2010, and quickly became a favorite on play lists of over 300 terrestrial radio stations in 12 different countries, before making it's debut at #20 on the July 2010 Living Blues National Radio Chart. The disc additionally remained on the National Top 50 Roots Rock Radio Chart for nearly four months.

In the fall of 2010 Reclamation caught the ears of programmers at BB King's Bluesville on Sirus/XM Ch. 70, including Tony Colter as well as rock radio legend Pat St. John, and by November the disc had topped off at the #4 spot as a “Pick to Click” on Bill Wax's “Rack of Blues” weekly countdown. In February 2011, Vincent and the band swept the WYCE Jammie Awards by winning four Jammies in the categories of "Album of the Year, Best Blues Album, Best New Artist, and Producer of the Year (Glenn Brown)", before receiving two 2011 Blues Blast Award Nominations for "Best New Artist, and the Sean Costello Rising Star Award." Reclamation was additionally voted as one of the Top 100 Blues CD's of 2010-2011 by Real Blues magazine, and Vincent also recently appeared on the cover of the March 2012 issue of France's Blues & Co. magazine. The disc is still in regular rotation on BB King's Bluesville on Sirius/XM.

Driven by Hayes's dynamic, sensitive guitar work and one of the most powerful rhythm sections in the modern blues industry (Alves, Hugley), the four piece band's performances are dominated by grooving rhythms, stinging guitar, memorable songs, and lively, show stopping musicianship. Veteran keyboardist Doc Yankee anchors the line up with melodic keyboard phrasing and hard driving piano boogies that are second to none. Though firmly rooted in traditional blues, Vincent is adamant that The Vincent Hayes Project is equally about writing songs with staying power and exploring the band's diverse influences, incorporating elements of rock, reggae, soul, and gospel to their original compositions.

Hayes has been playing guitar for nearly 35 years, and can claim influence by “anyone who transmits, passion, energy, emotion, and honesty.” Vincent was truly born into a musical family of guitarists. "My great grandfather was taught by a couple of blues men he had befriended back the 1920's while working on the railroads in Indiana. He was offered his own weekly radio show in Chicago, but had to turn it down because he couldn't afford to uproot his family. He taught my father and my uncle, who played in a rock band called "The Futuras" back in the 60's. They did a lot of Beatles, Dylan, Ventures, Chuck Berry, etc. When I was about 13, says Hayes, my father taught me Johnny B. Goode. I fell in love with the blues a few years later when I heard Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker."

Formed as a power trio in 2005, the Vincent Hayes Project soon earned national attention after competing as semi-finalists in the 2006 & 2007 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. Later that year, former MC5 manager and White Panther Party founder John Sinclair invited the band to serve as his "Blues Scholars" on a leg of his 2007 tour. In 2006 they were invited to open for rock legend Steve Miller at Muskegon Summer Celebration to a crowd of 20,000. Miller was so taken by the band that he watched their entire set from backstage, and offered words of support to Vincent and the band that in Hayes's words, "really let us know we were doing something right." The festival invited them to return the following year to warm up the crowd for hip-hop icon Ludicris. "We knew we were more than just a blues band at that point, that we were truly capable of crossing genres and reaching wider audiences," says Hayes.

Following recent performances at the 2011 Blues Music Awards, and a jaw dropping set at the 2011 Blues Blast Awards held at Buddy Guy's Legends, where the band served as the house band for the awards ceremony, The Vincent Hayes Project has been proving why their live show is not to be missed. The band has shared recent double billings with former Muddy Waters bassist Mac Arnold, Donald Kinsey (Bob Marley, Kinsey Report), and are favorites on the Midwest blues/roots festival circuits.

Their long awaited follow-up CD is slated for release in in the summer of 2013 on Hayes's independent label North 61 Records, and will again be produced by Glenn Brown on the Muscle Shoals Neve Console, with additional tracking to be done at Redwall North Studios with Bill Chrysler (John Mayer Trio, "Try!").

Press Quotes

“Honest, sensitive blues, played with passion from a point of desperation with the huge intensity that should be required of any band to play the blues. GREAT.”
Vicente’ Zumel, La Hora del Blues, Spain

“(there is) a realism to the band that you soon learn applies to everything that they do. The lyrics aren't forced, and neither is the playing. The music is natural.” -Fulltime Blues

“It is rare for an artist to display such maturity on a debut release, but this album certainly marks the beginning of Hayes’s career, because I can’t imagine an artist with such creative compositions, strong voice and guitar skills could get lost in the crowd. Anyone who loves great guitar work should own this CD, as it is apparent to me that it is indeed the best debut of 2010.” -Twoj Blues, Poland

“Scorching gutsy guitar work, pounding piano, clean vocals and strong songs that leave you gasping for breath and craving more. Brilliant!” -Rootstime, The Netherlands

"Great bass leads, hot percussion, and zealous organ. Had me holding my breath. Absolutely amazing work." -Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro

“Hayes is an excellent guitarist who can cover all parts of the blues repertoire with ease.”-John Mitchell, Blues Blast

“Reclamation is a thoroughly modern blues album, but not a stale blues-rock album. The results speak for themselves: Alves and Hugley form an air-tight unit that backs Hayes with a loose, funky groove, and Hayes proves to be a dexterous axe man whose charisma and love for the music shine strong throughout the disc.” -Living Blues Magazine October 2010


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