Thursday, 29 June 2017 08:00

Alsask-area woman living the dream of storytelling in all forms

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The amiable Laura Hayes has always been a storyteller of sorts. The name is recognizable for many reasons. People in Alberta will remember her long career with the CTV television station affiliate CFCN in Calgary as a well-respected news reporter and producer. Now, Hayes is a roots artist who has a few CDs under her belt. Her debut CD, Storyteller was released three years ago and she is currently working on a new one.

Hayes, who was born in Eatonia, Sask., launched her CD Storyteller in her current home of Alsask, Sask. and then played soon after in Eatonia.
While one would think being in Alsask along Highway 9 wasn’t the epitomé of the music scene, Hayes is doing just fine. The easy going mom loves her life as she is on the farm helping to raise her family, lives in the rural area and goes out and plays concerts when she can.
She never gets bored as they're is always something to do to keep busy, but it seems much more manageable in the rural area.
While it’s two totally different things with being in the media and performing original roots songs, there is a familiarity. For one thing with broadcast journalism, one has to be efficient with words. With only a relatively short timeframe to explain details and visualize pictures, being a wordsmith is critical, much like in television reporting. The themes and topics of stories/songs are also similar.
Unfortunately with journalism, the writing becomes pigeonholed into a certain style whereas with songwriting, one has the freedom to do anything.
“You’re telling a story; it’s real life, it always comes around to that,” explains the thoughtful Hayes. 
“Lyrics comes to might and the lyrics dictate the (music score).”
Hayes has performed with Larry Krause from Prince Albert on a number of occasions and with other members of the Saskatchewan Country Music Association — generally preferring to perform in smaller venues.
She uses electronic media to get her music out to the public and she has been able to get gigs in a variety of centres. She has played in close venues such as nearby Oyen in April, and nearby Saskatchewan venues such as Kindersley and Cabri.
It’s no longer necessary to be based in a major centre to get one’s name out there in the music industry or to have a tour or perform.
Logically, there may be reasons to feel isolated being on a border town just on the other side of Special Areas in Alberta and in the R.M. of Milton in Saskatchewan.
She admires someone as successful as Ian Tyson was able to carve out a huge career without having to move away from his ranch in southwest Alberta.
Hayes can still have the rural lifestyle she covets while being able to entertain people and express herself creatively.
“(The music industry) is all evolving as we’re doing things differently,” explains Hayes. “The tools and resources are changing ... with that the independent music scene is bursting. Reaching Facebook is a powerful medium. We’re reaping the rewards. while being able to stay close to home.”
She always knew she loved performing. Writing or singing songs, it was “never a question of ‘if’ just what capacity.
Hayes enjoys what she is doing and likes her pace.
She is very talented with a rich voice and has a solid following.
“I’m under no illusion that there’s a big tour yet or anything like that,” explains Hayes who loves being a part of the music collective in general. “It’s like prairie winds blowing different directions. You have to find other ways to go to make it work ... I’m totally OK in the country.
“I love making music where I’m at ... life is busier now than when I was in Calgary.”

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Ryan Dahlman

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