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Rodney Hayden delivers his most mature collection of songs to date with the release of his 10th album, Western Folk, due May 20 on Alamo Records.  While many artists are chasing the latest trends and blending genres in an attempt to appeal to the masses, Hayden has stripped his sound down to its origin.  “Western Folk is the name of the album but it’s also an appropriate characterization of the style of music that I play.”  Hayden says from his home in San Antonio, TX.  “It’s me and a guitar, one mic, one take, no overdubs.  We kept it as authentic as possible, and I’m very proud of the outcome.”

Authenticity has been a recurring theme in Hayden’s career.  His debut album The Real Thing (2002) made an impression with the media; receiving rave reviews from USA Today, Entertainment Weekly and People Magazine, which exclaimed: “The title says it all!”  With each subsequent album and through relentless touring (over 2,000 live performances) Hayden has carved out his own unique spot in modern music, particularly in Texas where he has earned the respect of some of the states most legendary musical figures.

While Hayden rarely co-writes he has built an impressive list of collaborators which include Robert Earl Keen, George Strait, Aaron Watson, Kevin Fowler and Drew Kennedy among other notable artists and songwriters. The twelve tracks that make up Western Folk however are collaborations of a different nature Hayden explains.  “Most of these tracks were originally written as poems over a hundred years ago, that I put music to and turned into songs.”  The result is an album that enriches our vision of the American West in a way that few albums have managed to capture.

In a time when many seem content with forgetting the past, Rodney Hayden is determined to keep it alive.  “These aren’t just songs, they’re a real connection to where we came from and who we are.  It’s crucial that we hold on to these aspects of our heritage and preserve them.  Like everything else, it’s all one generation away from disappearing.”  Hayden says deliberately.  “These are timeless stories and lessons that are every bit as relevant today as they were when they were originally written.  We live in a world that is changing rapidly, which is exciting, but at the same time it’s imperative that we don’t lose touch with our roots.”  Hayden speaks with authority on the subject as his family lineage dates back to some of America’s earliest settlers including a Captain in the American Revolution.

It’s that independent spirit that has led Hayden to develop a successful business model in the digital age.  By embracing new media Hayden has drastically expanded his fan base throughout the world due in large part to his series of podcasts, blogs, videos and online concerts.   With the support of Alamo Records and the release of his new album Western Folk, Hayden is poised for a monumental year in 2016.