Cider Mag Winter 2015 Issue 52 - Page 55

song Hayward penned with The Moody Blues during a dark time in the his life. The banter was mostly light, but he pointed out how certain songs came to be and what they meant to him now, all these years later. After playing a few songs by himself, he was joined by 25 year old guitar virtuoso Mike Dawes. This guy is an unreal talent. Dawes was also the opening act and played mostly original instrumentals and a unique cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.” He added a percussive element to these quiet yet powerful rearrangements that allowed for Hayward to experiment and bounce around a little bit. This onstage outfit was rounded out with third member Julie Ragin, who provided keyboard, tambourine and backing vocals. Someone who is used to seeing The Moody Blues many times would no doubt be refreshed and maybe surprised that this trio effectively filled in the sound with minimal tools at their disposal. Hayward has a recently released folk and country-western tinged solo record called Spirits of the Western Sky, which he played selections from from, including "What You Resist Persists", "One Day, Someday", and "The Western Sky". One song off that album I had not heard yet called "The Eastern Sun" blew me away. With a wispy, crisp and delicate finger picking style, Hayward delivered what was at that point the highlight of the evening. His voice was clear and direct and as beautiful and sincere as anything he has written. Not thinking “The Eastern Sun” could be topped, he strummed the opening notes to one of my all-time favorite Moody’s songs, "Never Comes the Day." This single from their fourth and sometimes overlooked album On Winter • 2015 the Threshold of a Dream was the definitive highlight for me. It starts off soft but gradually builds to a powerful and soul-baring decree about “giving a little bit more and taking a little bit less” from one another as humans. H