Review by Chris Montgomery, “Big Hat Larry’s Presents”

Mitch Hayes is a thoughtful cuss with a heart for songwriting. The only proof anyone would ever need is the tune, All My Heroes. Starting with a phenomenon named Elvis and ending with a girl named Janis, Hayes chronicles the hierarchy of rock and roll. He crafts each of the storied legends, fitting them together like a jigsaw puzzle on a rainy day.

It is obvious these were the actual heroes of the folkster who is telling the story. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Too much of today’s popular music is cookie cut to perfection. Hayes decides to take another road.

The song is well produced and doesn’t get boring. This is cleverly accomplished by tailoring verses to the subject at hand. For instance, Pressley paves the way for young Lennon; Hendrix references are as plentiful as the wah-wah in the background; and a somber closing helps to personify Joplin.

The sparse but effective use of a woman’s voice and a reoccurring flute counter an otherwise coarse vocal by Hayes. Together the three arrangements work, not to minimalize the light, acoustic fingerpicking. It’s enough to make the track destined for airplay, even if the cookie cut pop should take precedence.

If you’re not a fan by now, All My Heroes will alter your path. Mitch Hayes is by all means talented. And after listening to this effort, listeners will have another hero to sing about.

Chris Montgomery, host of “Big Hat Larry’s Presents” The Best in Indie Music, aired weekly on

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