Bernie Hayes has been playing, singing, writing and recording for thirty-odd years now. And for thirty-odd years, well intentioned people have been telling him that he could really go somewhere.
Well, now, in his third solo album Homebody, the taciturn Bernie finally responds:
I’m forty five for fuck’s sake
Do you think I want to go there?
from 'You’re the best thing'
No. Bernie’s happy working in the relative peace and quiet of obscurity, teaming up with the likes of Brendan Gallagher, Peter O’Doherty, Bow Campbell and the Bernie Hayes Quartet of Bill Gibson, John Encarnacao and Jess Ciampa to forge an album that is rich in experience.
This isn’t girl-meets-boy stuff. This is about love surrendered, mistakes made, patience gained, time wasted, persistence rewarded, lives lost and courage found. It’s about watching and waiting and worrying. It is, though he’d never tell you himself, as personal and revealing a bunch of songs as he’s ever written. And perhaps that’s why Bernie is prepared to say that Homebody is his most satisfying album to date.
As a producer, Brendan Gallagher, found the experience pretty rewarding, too.
"Bernie Hayes is a diamond in the music business, gold and silver too,” he says. “His songwriting alone guarantees him a seat at the table of great popular music writers, his incredible voice into the bargain elevates him to the status of national treasure. His is a majestic touch informed by raw talent and the dear school of experience. In a word he is an artist... long may he reign."