With a rock ’n’ roll soul and country heart, Ward Hayden & The Outliers tell melodic stories of love and loss delivered with a poignant intensity by lead singer Hayden. Inspired by his mom’s old Hank Williams and Johnny Cash cassettes and Gene Autry westerns, Hayden formed the band—formerly known as Girls Guns & Glory—in 2005. Hayden and his bandmates hail from the northeast so they are used to being outliers on the southern-based country music scene, but with their sound that’s a blend of old school country, early rock ’n’ roll and blues—plus song lyrics that dig deep into both the highs and lows of life—they have won fans far beyond their home base of Boston. All the members play multiple instruments and their versatility and skill juxtaposed with Hayden’s sweet, soaring voice make for a deeply affecting live experience.
The band has released eight albums, including a live album and a 2018 collection of covers by their musical influences called Can’t Judge a Book. Winners of several Boston Music Awards and Boston Phoenix Awards, the band was included on the Rolling Stone list of “10 Artists You Need to Know” in fall 2014. They have toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe for the past several years, claiming the honor of “Independent Artist of the Year” at the French Country Music Awards and hitting number one on Norway’s country album charts with their 2016 album Love and Protest.