In mere hours, Tuscaloosa’s Bama Theatre will be the place for one of the most wonderful events of the summer. (Note: I am saying this with all of the bias.) You will fall in love for the first or second or eighth time and be mesmerized by the stage. (Note: All of the bias.)
There is so much talent on the stage, but it’s also a bit hard to write about all of this talent. I mean, I’ve done it before.
When Blaine Duncan & The Lookers, The Bear, Looksy, and Belle Adair take the stage tonight, it is an event worthy of an actual shindig. But let’s dig into a mystery for a second. The question is: Hayden Crawford?
“Hayden is a weird little guy, but his music makes me wanna reach for a fresh Dookie sandwich.”
That quote is from Adam Morrow of Callooh! Callay!, Belle Adair, and the Lookers and in our joke speak, this is a compliment. Hayden Crawford is from Tuscaloosa and currently resides in New Orleans. I first came to know him through being told by Blaine Duncan himself that Hayden was a big fan of mine. We had never met in person. Also, I only wrote stuff like this. And in this case, Hayden was kind of a weird little guy. His only picture on his Twitter profile is a screencap of when I added him on Goodreads. I’m still trying to figure out if that was genuine or to keep the bit alive. By that time, Hayden was a full member of the Lookers, performing live alongside members of the band that I talked to for this piece. If anybody knows the enigma of Hayden Crawford, multi-instrumentalist and serial warbler, it’s the people he hung out with on the After She Dies tour of 2013.
“Hayden is awesome. He’s a great guy: sarcastically sweet and sweetly sarcastic,” said Blaine Duncan on his former member. I’ll let Blaine explain his own experiences with Hayden. “He is loyal, dependable, and professional. He can any instrument with strings, which benefits us because he is pretty willing to fill any role. He’s a great songwriter, too. That helps because he has great ideas for song arrangements. He’s one of my favorite folks, and though I’ve known him only five or six years, he’s a close friend.
Duncan adds, “I guess my favorite thing about Hayden is something that I can relate to (and something he’ll openly admit, so I’m not telling tales out of school) – he doesn’t know much about a guitar as far as technical aspects, like strings, amps, repair, but he can play one as good as anyone. He can tell you the key and chord structure of a song within seconds of hearing it. That’s somewhat common with guitarists, but probably not as common with guitarists who don’t change their own strings. That story serves as a good metaphor for him: really great but not too concerned that he is.”
We’re getting closer to the mystery, but I also wonder if Hayden himself can shed some light on his own self-identity: “In addition to being a Taco shirt enthusiast, Hayden Crawford enjoys many humorous cotton fabrications. Let us not forget the likes of Santa Claus drinking champagne in a hot tub shirt, black guitar shirt, and the classic crawfish salting a bed of fries shirt.”
So Hayden likes a lot of T-shirts and is great at music. Yup. Mystery solved. However, since Crawford is a former Lookers member, just what in the hell does this piece have to do with anything? I mean, other than the bias.
After the Shindig, there is an afterparty show at the Alcove with Hayden Crawford, Daniel Elias Crisler, and the two-piece Della Ray. It will be an atomic bomb of weirdness. I recommend it on that alone. Anything to funnel through some sort of weirdness helps, though. But honestly, I don’t know if I can fully say I get Hayden Crawford still. Maybe there isn’t a mystery and people just are as they are.
Mutual friend Jeff Hanson put it best: “[Hayden’s] darkest secrets are that he has no
secrets at all.”