JT Hayden Band Shares Their Musical Influences with ‘Long Way Back To Memphis’

The JT Hayden Band is comprised of Josh (JT) Hayden, Mike Lafferty, Luke Billingsley, Jim McEowen, Tim Currier, and Joe Nowakowski. This southern rock band has several classic rock and country influences including the Allman Brothers Band, Chris Stapleton, and Lynyrd Skynyrd to name a few. In their newest album Long Way Back to Memphis, we see a lot of references to their favorite artists. With country, rock, blues, and alternative sounds this album has something for everyone. 

The first song on the album is also the title track, “Long Way Back to Memphis.” Right off the bat we get some soothing electric guitar in the intro before JT’s vocals start. Most notably in this song is the heavy emphasis put on the groovy medleys and the guitar solos. A great opening song to put us into the old southern country mood. 

Bluesy guitar riffs and bass lines open the next song “Ain’t Dead Yet.” This good old fashioned country tune has some classic rock influence and even the terms “ramblin’ man” and “midnight rider” which can be recognized from the famous Led Zeppelin and Alman Brothers songs respectively. This song is about meeting someone that JT notes, “Made me feel crazy/Made me lose control.” He talks of continuing down the road that we’ve already begun driving down in the opening song. 

The banjo gets brought out for “Rebel on the Run.” This country classic is a love song about being in a relationship with someone you believe is the one. About how you never thought you would find that one person that you want to spend the rest of your life with but then you did. There is yet another musical reference in this track to Chris Stapleton’s famous song Tennessee Whiskey when JT sings of this person being “sweet like strawberry wine.” 

Track seven on the album has the same name as the most popular King Harvest song, “Dancing in the Moonlight.” However, that is where the similarities end. The JT Hayden Band is full of surprises with this one including country vocals from JT but also a rap verse halfway through the song. More of these fun melodies continue in “Like Bonnie & Clyde”—a song about a relationship where the woman in a relationship robbed the man and left, a tribute to the familiar story we all know of Bonnie and Clyde. 

Ending on a ballad about losing someone that was important to you because you don’t feel good enough for them “Alone Inside” doesn’t leave us on the happiest note, but it is an important song that acknowledges relatable themes of heartbreak and loss. To add to the intimate atmosphere created by this song, JT’s voice is crisp and audible with some quieter instrumentals backing him. It is clear that the band wanted this song to focus more on sharing a private moment with listeners than anything else. 

Overall, Long Way Back to Memphis is an album with so many different components to it. There’s rock, bluesy tunes, and incredible guitar riffs. The clever lyricism using references from the group’s biggest musical inspirations allow listeners to see just how much music of all different genres means to them. This album is a must listen for any music fanatic! 

Stream the new album on Spotify here:

Reviewed by Carmen Zdanis 

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for the nice review of our friends, the JT Hayden band! They are very talented, and are great to see live! JT has a very crisp, clear voice that is very pleasurable to the ear. He is a very good song writer and guitar player. He interacts very well with his audiences. He is very down to earth, and it comes through. He loves his fans, and we love him! We love the new album, and are looking forward to the many more!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.