Hayes Douglas is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter from Silver Spring, MD USA. Right around the time that the Covid Pandemic hit, Hayes had a literal ‘Come To Jesus’ moment during what was the worst day of his life. It turned out to also be the best day of his life, as he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior from that day on. After attending church for some time, it seemed uncomfortable, counter-productive, and “downright ridiculous” to listen to music that glorified sex, drugs, and the pure pursuit of money. When that feeling became too strong to ignore, Hayes decided to make his own music that spoke to his struggle in life, and about the things that give hope and warmth to us all. Besides playing guitar for many years, Hayes is a writer and web designer, with a side hustle walking dogs. It was those dogs he walked every day for three years that inspired his first song, “A Man and His Dog”.
The heritage of Hayes Douglas’ knowledge of country, rock and blues lays thick over the entirety of “A Man and His Dog”, and despite what the title might lead you to expect, the song feels neither corny nor overly melodramatic, there is something fiercely traditional yet current about this record, combining the best of the previously described musical elements, with Hayes’ uniquely resonant vocal. Ultimately the record is a suave, witty and sophisticated project.
Hayes Douglas’ artistry is undeniable. The plain and simple arrangement, full of slide-guitar twang, tuned into Hayes light-hearted, but heartfelt vocals, is perfectly calibrated to the material’s storytelling framed lyrics. In a time when the comfortable and familiar is what most people seek, “A Man and His Dog” delivers a delicious slice of everyday life with a whole set of simple lessons to learn along the way.
Though, a declared man of faith, Hayes never allows himself the presumption, to overtly preach to his audience. Instead, his simple storytelling, carries all the messages necessary for an appropriate Christian attitude in life.
The instrumentation and production carries the warmth needed to support the work, with a rich blend of thick organic sounds. However it’s Hayes Douglas’ warm, gentle charisma driving the track, which reveals a deeper nuance to the melody and the bittersweet narrative.
The storyline of “A Man and His Dog” resonates with me in a particularly powerful way. I have shared my life with a four-legged friend for over 10 years now, and we have been through a number of trying times together. Everyday the thought of losing him eventually, plagues me more and more.
The lyrics are ones that will get you thinking throughout the song, and “A Man and His Dog” is one impressive emotional journey, thanks to these beautifully written lyrics. You will also love the purity in Hayes’ vocals throughout this song.
Hayes Douglas is not breaking any new ground on “A Man and His Dog”, but then that’s not his intention. What Hayes does do, is stay true to who he is, and the music that he understands and loves. Now that’s something unique in our day and age, and a lesson to be learned by the younger folk.
Another interesting fact, is that Hayes Douglas has made a conscious decision, based upon the discord and divisiveness on social media, and how “it presents a false picture of the world”, to not promote his music via the major social media sites. “As a web developer I’d never recommend it in a million years but I can’t stand the noise anymore,” says Hayes. “We’ll see if it’s even possible.” Now that’s a tough call in 2021!