Bio

William Hayden
Songwriter, Composer, Musician, Producer

"Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom.  If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn." - Charlie Parker
Songwriting has been a therapeutic process for me, often stirring feelings and memories from my past. Tapping into my own personal experiences and being as honest as I can, I hope my songs will touch a chord and resonate with the listener on a deep level. Thoughts and memories, whether of joy or heartbreak replaying over and again in my head, are now woven into my songs. Songwriting has helped me to heal from the inevitable wounds of life and to celebrate its victories.

"If you see a turtle on a fence post, he probably had help getting there." - Little Jimmy Dickens
My brother was the first to introduce me to music back in the sixties. I can still remember lying on the cold floor in our small living room, waiting with anticipation as I heard the scratch of the needle on the record wondering what song he was about to play. I would find myself daydreaming about being on stage in front of hundreds of fans, or playing on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” During family visits, two of my uncles would bring their guitars and play for us after supper. I was mesmerized as I sat at their feet, watching their thick calloused fingers dancing on their guitars. Little did I know that when they taught me my first chords and songs, it would begin an insatiable appetite for music and playing the guitar that has continued to grow.

"Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon
Like every teenager in a garage band, I thought it would be easy to make a living playing gigs on the weekends to make music my lifelong job. Eventually, music took a backseat while I was learning the job of life. I realize now that I had to experience life first before I could genuinely write about it.

"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness." - Maya Angelou
During my time in college, I searched for purpose and meaning in life and found a Christian faith that has grown and carried me through many wonderful and difficult times since then. I also got married and went through a divorce during that time. Through it all, my faith and my guitar were always with me. When I graduated college in 1983, I packed the back seat of my old Chevrolet with everything I owned. With three hundred dollars in my pocket and no job prospects, I drove to sunny Florida to begin a new chapter of my life. After working as a cook in a pizza parlor at night, I landed a job as a software engineer for a small startup company. Although I’ve always loved what I do as my “day job”, my passion continued to be music. I soon met my second wife, and we began to raise three children together. Just a few years after we were married, my wife became very ill and was in and out of the hospital with life-threatening illnesses for the next nine years. In 1999, she died unexpectedly. I suddenly became a single parent, juggling a demanding full-time job while trying to keep things as stable as possible at home.

"He not busy being born is busy dying" - Bob Dylan
Eventually, we were blessed with my wife, Christa, who is my best friend and a loving step-mother to my children. Reflecting upon the past thirty years filled with bittersweet memories of joy, heartache, failures and triumphs, I know now that it was these experiences that seeded the music that I’m writing today. Relatively late in life, I’ve discovered how to express my love for music. Songwriting has become a cathartic and healing experience for me, and in some ways, has given me closure with some of the experiences of my past.

My debut album,
This Road is a story about the road that I’ve traveled, potholes and all. It has been one of the thrills of my life writing, recording and producing my second album Coming Home. I had the opportunity to work with world-class musicians and studio engineers on this project. Mark Williams’ impassioned vocals gave my songs a voice, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to work with him on this album. Platinum record, Grammy nominated and multiple award-winning drummer, Dale Baker played drums on the album. Dale’s musicianship, sensibilities and emotional connection with my songs brought a new dimension to each song. Renowned Nashville producer and studio engineer, Russ Long, performed the final mixes and breathed new life into my songs with his inspired mixes. Nashville legend and Grammy-winning engineer, Hank Williams from Mastermix studios, completed the final mastering for the album. My first album, This Road is an autobiographical album about my life’s journey taking me far from home, searching for meaning and purpose in life. My new album, Coming Home is an album about coming full circle in the journey while rediscovering the way back home. As Meister Eckhart said, “God is at home, it’s we who have gone out for a walk.”