Born in New York, raised in Toronto, and now residing in Hamilton since 2015, critically acclaimed folk singer, songwriter and social activist Piper Hayes is truly authentic. On December 8, 2017, Hayes celebrated the release of her first full-length album ‘Piper & Carson’.
Nowadays, Hayes (who is a two-time nominee for the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, 2017 and 2018) performs and writes closely with her partner Carson Ritcey-Thorpe and, after a 2017 western Canada tour, many prime showcases at Folk Music Ontario, Folk Alliance International and South East Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA), they have become beloved darlings of the folk music scene.
‘Piper & Carson’ will be available at shows, via Hayes’ website, Bandcamp, iTunes and more. The album was recorded live off the floor at Thorpe’s Organic Produce farm in Millgrove, ON (near Hamilton) in the summer of 2017. It was captured in the living room of the century-old Ritcey-Thorpe family farmhouse, with Toronto multi-instrumentalist Chris Bartos as producer (Kaia Kater, The Barr Brothers, Jonathan Byrd). It features Piper Hayes (lead vocal, rhythm guitar), Carson Ritcey-Thorpe (vocal, lead guitar), Kevin Neal (pedal steel), Leah Ritcey-Thorpe (back-up vocals) and Chris Bartos (upright bass, piano, electric and acoustic violin, electric guitar, Moog, vocals).
The first single “For All We Know” is about the celebration of life and death. Hayes states, “It is important to seize the moment. To live fully we must embrace life’s unknowns, because for all we know…we only get one chance.”
Hayes got her start in legendary venues in Toronto including The Horseshoe Tavern, The Rivoli and The Cameron House (playing with artists including Abigail Lapell, Julian Taylor and Kevin Hearn). She has toured all over Canada and the USA, headlined three international tours (visiting Nepal, India, Holland, Scotland, Ireland, England, Iceland, Denmark, Italy, France, Spain and Greece), performed many times on VIA Rail’s national ‘Artists on board’ program and played many folk conferences.
Piper also teams up with the Canadian Mental Health Association (going into schools, conferences and outreach programs to dispel stigma around mental illness), she established a music-therapy-based class for Hamilton Adult Community Support Program and gives workshops on mental health, well-being, music and songwriting.
Previously, Hayes has released her Danny Garcia produced ‘Live in NYC’ in 2013, her Mike Schlosser produced debut EP ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Like...’ in 2014 and her acclaimed 2016 EP ‘Goodbye Mister Nice Guy’ (“we couldn’t keep it off our charts” – Rachel Connell, CFMU FM).
Piper Hayes’s tracks