Girls, Guns and Glory Light Up Grumpy's
By: Sam Houghton, April 27, 2012
Courtesy 3Gs - Scituate native Ward Hayden leads Girls, Guns and Glory on vocals and acoustic guitar; Chris Hersch on electric guitar; Michael Calabrese on drums/vocals; and Paul Zaz Dilley on upright/electric bass.
Ward Hayden, founder, songwriter and lead singer of Girls, Guns and Glory, is more humble than the name of his band suggests. He’s not a flaunting hip hop artist with a low swinging swagger, but a young man with deep respect for old country songs.
His method of songwriting is to wait for the songs to come to him. Inevitably, they have been doing just that: for the last six years, Hayden and the rest of his gang have mustered up four studio albums, two tours of Europe and several tours of the U.S. on the tab of those songs.
“Sometimes [the songs] come early in the morning, which is a pain,” he says. “It happens often in that weird state between sleep and being awake, where you can kind of see through the haze, but it is important to not let those moments escape.”
Girls, Guns and Glory
29 Locust Street, Falmouth
Like most country songs, Hayden's subjects tend to revolve around heartache and misery. With his mellow yodel and a southern drawl, he's a modern Merle Haggard or Waylon Jennings: sad, helpless and brokenhearted, yet resilient and wise beyond his years.
Yet the music has a romping rockabilly bounce reminiscent of Bo Diddley or Johnny and the Hurricanes. Take “Sweet Nothing,” the title track to the band's latest album: the rhythm is thick and gritty with fast moving country twang. Other songs like “This Old House” slow down and get real southern with the help of a steel guitar here and a lap guitar there.
United states of Americana
Say what you will about New England country, but Hayden insists that the Boston area is beginning to incorporate more Americana into its music diet.
Yet he was surprised at the genre's popularity in Europe. On their recent tour of Girls, Guns and Glory booked nine shows in France alone.
“People know the history of country music down there,” says Hayden. “It seems like every town has their own line dancing group. It was very surreal watching people in France dance to our music.”
On the recommendation of a friend, Hayden decided to drop a line in at Grumpy’s Pub, where the band performs on Saturday. He says to expect nothing less than a good time.
“We don’t show up to have a bad time,” he says. “If people like old country music, if people like rock and roll, that’s what we do. We feed off the crowd. It's a good time for sure.”