Deeply reflective of what it truly means to be an “artist,” regardless of the medium enveloped or passion embodied, “Where The Artists Go” is an apt introduction to the encompassing artistry that is Hayley Reardon.
Hayley elaborates, “’Where the Artists Go’ is about looking for the artist in everyone. The song was inspired by an eighth grade social studies project where we were asked to draw ourselves exactly as we saw ourselves. A boy in my class that I hardly knew had drawn a self-portrait that so beautifully captured the explosion of light and color inside the mind of an artist. I was so inspired by the fact that this quiet boy in my history class that I had known for years, had such light and passion inside of him, and that I got to see a glimpse of it that day. It got me thinking about what kind of explosion of creativity and spark might lie beneath the skin of all the people I see day to day but only know on the surface. The song is about breaking rules and being passionate, bold, and original...and even more so, its about being proud of being all those things and letting them shine through. It’s about being proud of the explosion, no matter how big, that makes each of us our own artist”.
The eleven-song Where The Artists Go was produced by renowned drummer Lorne Entress (Catie Curtis, Lori McKenna) with contributions from veteran sessions players Kevin Barry on guitars/lap steel (Ray LaMontagne, Mary Chapin Carpenter), Mark Erelli on guitar (Josh Ritter, Lori McKenna, Kelly Willis), Richard Gates on bass (Paula Cole, Dar Williams, Patty Larkin, The Weepies) and Glenn Patscha on piano/Hammond organ (Ryan Adams, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson).
Due for release this fall, Artists will appeal to traditional folk music aficionados weaned on Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell while also appealing to alt-country stalwarts, Lucinda Williams, Kasey Chambers and Dar Williams, hipster indie icons Connor Oberst, Bon Iver, Neko Case, Anais Mitchell and Meiko and as well as mainstream singer-songwriters such as Taylor Swift, Colbie Caillat, Cady Groves and Jason Mraz.
On the heels of winning the annual Boston Folk Festival Songwriting contest at only 12 years of age in 2009, Hayley released her first Ep entitled Beautiful Simplicity which was followed by 2010’s Hope You’re Smiling that showcased the anthem “Stand Together,” a song penned to encourage students and young adults to find their own voice and take a stand against bullying.
Hayley vividly recalls the genesis for writing Together, “I wrote ‘Stand Together’ a few weeks after starting the sixth grade. I was always warned that middle school could be a hard time socially because kids are known to be so brutally mean to each other at that age. The song was my response after going in and seeing it for myself. It was basically me speaking to my peers, about how this whole ‘growing up thing’ would be a little easier on all of us if we could just face it as a team”.
Taking a stand one step further, Hayley developed an in-school performance program called “Find Your Voice” to deliver peer targeted messaging encouraging empowerment through self-expression. Sharing her message in an official role as a National Peer Spokesperson, for PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, Ms. Reardon has enlightened packed middle school auditoriums throughout New England, Michigan and Minnesota.
These speaking engagements laid the foundation for honing her craft of delivering thoughtful musical performances. From opening shows for her idol Lori McKenna, to official showcases at the 2011/2012 Folk Alliance Conferences in Memphis, to appearances on DittyTV and WDVX’s Blue Plate Special in Knoxville, Hayley quickly developed a comforting, yet commanding, stage presence.
With the wisdom of an old soul amidst the exuberance of a youthful mind, Hayley’s mesmerizing performance of “Stand Together” one afternoon last year caught the attention of Betsy Siggins, Executive Director of the New England Folk Music Archives. As a friend of Bob Dylan for 50-plus years and the person whom gave Joan Baez her start at Club 47 in 1958, Siggins has witnessed generations of aspiring songwriters and has a proven knack for recognizing innate talent.
Ingratiated with Reardon’s ability to write “some wonderful, wonderfully important songs,” Ms. Siggins introduced Hayley to folk documentarian Todd Kwait, whom invited her to reprise the moment to close out the award-winning documentary For The Love of the Music: The Club 47 Folk Revival, which won Best Documentary at the 2012 Boston International Film Fest.
Kwait, whom subsequently signed Reardon to his Kingswood Records imprint, quickly became a champion of her artistic integrity and thematic messages of self-empowerment, “As a documentary filmmaker committed to telling the history of folk music, I consider Hayley Reardon to be an inspiring songwriter, a captivating performer and, I am certain, a significant voice in folk music’s future”.
Reardon’s appearance in the documentary immediately linked her to an extended lineage of matriarchs and patriarchs of the folk movement of the 1960s as Joan Baez, Tom Rush, Judy Collins, Taj Mahal, Maria Muldaur, Geoff Muldaur, Jim Kweskin, Jackie Washington, Jim Rooney, Peter Rowan and Siggins were all featured in the film.
And now she stands together with history before her, proudly bearing the torch for a new generation of inspiration. From Boylston Street to Harvard Square to Cambridge to Strawberry Hill, the deep heartbeat of Massachusetts is only the precipice of where this artist will go.
With a host of important songs under her belt, more well-worn notches will be punctuated this summer as Hayley is set to partake in a five-week performance program at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, under full scholarship, which she attained as the winner of a recent Berklee-sponsored songwriting competition. She will also play select shows at a number of regional summer camps and make special appearances in the Northeast including events tied to National Bullying Prevention Month in October.
WHERE THE ARTISTS GO
1. Where The Artists Go
2. Only Pretending
5. Music (feat. PZed)
7. Like He Knows The Red Sox
8. Addicted To Conviction (feat. Sterling Higa)
9. There You Are With Me
11. Goodbye Song
http://kingswoodrecords.bandcamp.com (free mp3 download)