“Modern-day Buddy Holly plus Dwight Yoakam divided by the Mavericks… Think-y, soulful lyrics paired with a beat you can dance to.” -Rolling Stone


“Ward Hayden, singer and songwriter, sings with a timeless voice that recalls Roy Orbison, Dwight Yoakam, Chris Isaak and Hank Williams rolled into one yet somehow doesn’t sound derivative….’Good Luck’ is my springtime-porch sitting-beer drinking-friends over-album of the year.” -No Depression


“Dynamic and dynamite.” -Washington Post

You may know Ward Hayden & The Outliers, just not by that name. They spent a dozen years as Girls Guns & Glory before deciding that a moniker-change was necessary and now mark the new name with the mostly covers album ‘Can’t Judge a Book,’ out August 24. The album features songs by Nick Lowe, Chuck Berry, Fountains of Wayne and made famous by Johnny Cash and both Elvises, Presley and Costello. Wide Open Country has premiered “Promised Land”:

After the name change, the band decided to return to its inspiration as a reset and a passion project, each band member choosing songs that have meaning to him. Take “Can’t Stop A Train” by Austin honky tonk band the Derailers. It reminds Ward Hayden & The Outliers of a show they played together in Abilene, TX. Hayden recalls, “The promoter decided he just flat out wasn’t going to pay any of the bands. We had to walk away without a dime, but it was an experience that helped us realized there are things of value in this world that aren’t financial. It was a night we learned a hard lesson, but it toughened us up, made us want to be more like the unstoppable train.”

Hayden reflects that the name change on account of some deep reflection on his hero Gene Autry and his Cowboy Code. He says, “Which is also why we’ve always considered that being a cowboy is a state of mind. And to continue adhering to The Cowboy Code we want to represent our band with a name that will describe who we are more accurately. Things have changed in the 12 years since naming the band. We have always considered ourselves outliers in the world of country music. We continue to have the same mission we’ve always had: to make heartfelt country music and rock ‘n’ roll, to connect with fans through shared experiences in venues and through recordings, and to continue moving forward, living life in search of the moments worth singing about.”

Hayden’s own foray into country music and early rock and roll began with a fateful borrowing of a few of his mother’s cassettes. When asked, Hayden remarks, “I was doing these long drives and there was nothing appealing to me on the radio. I was twenty years old at the time and had been through my first experiences with heartbreak and loss. When I put some of these cassettes on the player in my Oldsmobile Delta Eighty-Eight, all I could think was, ‘This is everything I’ve been searching for.’”

The hard-touring, Boston-based band features Paul Dilley on upright/electric bass, Josh Kiggans on drums and Cody Nilsen on lead guitar/pedal steel.

Ward Hayden & The Outliers Tour Dates

Sun, July 21 – Jerry Jam – Bath, NH

Mon, July 22 – Blue Monday Concert Series – Mystic, CT

Fri, August 2 – Captain Scott’s Outdoor Concert Series – New London, CT

Sat, August 3 – Private Party – Uxbridge, MA

Sun, August 4 – Levitt AMP St. Johnsbury Music Series – East Saint Johnsbury, VT

Sat, August 17 – The Port Hunter – Edgartown, MA

Fri, August 23 – Dangerously Delicious Pies – Washington, DC

Sat, August 24 – Stoltz Listening Room – Easton, MD

Fri, August 30 – 3S Artspace Loading Dock Concert Series – Portsmouth, NH

Sun, September 1 – Stone Mountain Arts Center – Brownfield, ME

Fri, September 6 – City Winery Boston – Boston, MA

Wed, September 11 – Record Archive – Rochester, NY

Thurs, September 12 – Ransom Steele Tavern – Apalachin, NY

Fri, September 13 – Sportsmen’s Tavern – Buffalo, NY

Sat, September 14 – Godfrey Daniels – Bethlehem, PA

Sun, September 15 – Arlo’s Country Store – Union Dale, PA

Wed, September 18 – Duke’s Indy – Indianapolis, IN

Thu, September 19 – Thursday Night Live – Lexington-fayette, KY

Sat, September 21 – Narrows Center For the Arts – Fall River, MA

Thu, September 26 – The Parlor Room – Northampton, MA