REVIEW: Meghan Hayes’ “Seen Enough Leavers” is a Ray of Hope

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Seen Enough Leavers is Meghan Hayes’s 3rd full album release and is a powerful statement about not only the struggles life throws at you, but her way of making it through.  She builds this album much in the same way that you build yourself up after a tough time: by gathering some friends/family together and working through it day by day, or in this case, song by song.  Her friends from the neighborhood, and surrounding community, all pitch in and the impact on the album is that it tells Meghan’s story, from her perspective, and on her terms.
The players are a powerhouse of musicians and yet on each of the songs, their distinct style and skill blend seamlessly into the background of the performance that Meghan is giving.  Audley Freed lends his wonderful phrasing on the electric guitar while Goffrey Moore seems to anchor each song on the acoustic.  Tommi Rautiainen deliberately, and gently, guides on the drums; Thayer Sarrano in skillful on pedal steel, and Dex Green not only produces but also handles a myriad on instruments, including bass guitar.
Meghan also has a couple special guests on the album and on the song “Next Time Around” she says to me in a phone call: “Ever since I’d written this song I’ve heard Mando’s (Saenz) voice singing back up.”  Derry DeBorja who Meghan has known for 15+ years and met during his time with Sun Volt, lends his mellotron on “Second To Last Stand.”  She also invited Jamie Rubin to play electric guitar on “This Summer’s Sleeper.”  Jamie was the owner of the now closed Family Wash, where Meghan says “…was the bio magnetic center of the East Nashville, Americana universe.  So we all meet each other at the Family Wash, probably because of Jamie.”
While Meghan says she’s constantly writing, having her husband of 20 years mysteriously walking out brought some new “inspiration” and heavy experience to this album.  That theme is definitely present through out, but the entire album is so well written that you experience much of it like shes taking you by the hand going on a walk.  She shares all those painful moments and just before she lets go of your hand and parts, leaves you with a ray of hope.
The album starts off with an old spiritual vibe with “Georgette” and then moves into the title track “Seen Enough Leavers.”  Its chorus is really powerful as she sings “Time’s the fastest thing I know.  It’s run away with everything I’ve had to show.  With all the months and years spent dodging your blows, Time’s the fastest thing I know.”
“Second to the last stand” seems to be the beginning of her redemptive reprise as the album closes out and gives me a very cool Maria McKee vibe.  You get a glimpse of that silver lining that could be as Meghan sings “I could wake intact and gleaming and in high demand. In which case, this might be my second to last stand.”  It’s hopeful optimism, with a tinge of doubt, make it a perfect segue into the next song.
“Next Time Around” features those beautiful back up vocals by Mando Saenz and she finishes the song singing the lines “Maybe we all get more chances the next time around.”  Meghan closes the album with “Story of my Life” which is her on vocals and acoustic guitar, and Derry DeBorja on accordion.  The last lines of the album are “I’ve been out looking for the light to brighten these dark rooms forever. Dark rooms, bright lights, That’s the story of my life.”
It seems to me that she’s poured out her pain and suffering in these 10 tracks and is ready to pack it all up and move on to the next chapter of her life.  I look forward to seeing Meghan out on tour and experience some of these songs in a live environment.  Visit her website at www.meghanhayes.com and grab Seen Enough Leavers.  Once you do and can give the record a spin, you’ll be an instant fan like I am.

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