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Musician with Columbus roots to play at High Beck Tavern

Courtesy of Sue Schrader

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Vocalist Hadden Sayers said he relates his inspiration for songwriting skills to being a journalist searching for a story idea.

“I spend a lot of time mining for good ideas to write about, kind of like a journalist would be mining for a good story concept,” he said. “Whenever I hear a phrase that catches my ear, that’s kind of how I get started. Inspiration … can come from anything.”

The Texas-born rock and blues artist and his band are scheduled to perform Wednesday at the High Beck Tavern at 7 p.m. The concert, originally planned for April 3, was moved a week later.

Bass guitarist Mark Frye, drummer Tony McClung and keyboardist Dave DeWitt comprise the rest of Sayers’ group, whose most recent album, “Rolling Soul,” was released on Feb. 26. It features a dozen tracks and follows the 2011 release of “Hard Dollar.” 

Sayers said the band schedules Ohio performances depending on how its records are moving along.

“I actually live in Columbus,” he said. “We have a weekly gig in Columbus for whenever we aren’t touring, but we tour so much now that it’s not really routine. We only do it maybe a few times over the summer, and we’ve got two in April, (which we) kind of fit in around our schedule. It kind of just depends on what’s happening with our records.”

Frye said he believes the best part about being a musician is playing for crowds who recognize and appreciate his group’s music.

“My favorite part is running (the) original music to crowds that know the music and appreciate it,” he said. “It’s fun to do an album and get to a gig and see everyone know the lyrics. It’s really kind of fulfilling.”

Sayers said he started playing guitar as a child but that it was not until college that he realized he could play guitar “better than the average guy.”

“I started playing guitar when I was a little kid,” he said. “My mother got me set up like a lot of little kids did. Back then, I’m talking about the 1970s, I was this little kid who was learning how to play the most boring guitar you could imagine, like classical-type guitar. That’s how you started lessons then.”

Kristi Cardwell, a bartender at High Beck Tavern, said Hadden Sayers and his group frequently perform at High Beck and have garnered a following.

“They usually have a pretty good turnout,” she said. “They’re very bluesy, and they usually have a lot of regulars. They bring in the same kind of crowd at each performance.”

Sayers said he wants his audience to feel the soul that his group puts into each performance.

“I think that’s something we’ve gotten really good at, being able to (put the soul) in,” he said. “The blues music is not the most difficult from a structural point, but it is very difficult (to) emit this feeling that the audience could take home with them. That’s something we’re capable of doing … because the form is pretty simplistic. If anything, I would like to think the audience is going to take a piece of the feeling we emit home with them.”

Frye, who happens to be Sayers’ wife’s uncle, said Sayers is very talented and that he wants to help Sayers get more local attention.

“(Sayers) is just a real, true artist. A Texas artist,” Frye said. “The people in Columbus latch on to (him) because he’s the real deal. He’s a national, all-real talented guy, not just a guy with a scratch pad in his bedroom … he’s an up-and-coming star, and Columbus should be proud of him.”

The High Beck Tavern is located at 564 S. High St. 

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