Saturday, October 12
Having chalked up over fifty years at the peak of the music and entertainment industry, Justin Hayward’s voice has been heard the world over. Known principally as the vocalist, lead guitarist and composer for The Moody Blues, his is an enduring talent that has helped to define the times in which he worked. Over the last forty-five years the band has sold 55 million albums and received numerous awards. Commercial success has gone hand in hand with critical acclaim, The Moody Blues are renowned the world over as innovators and trail blazers who have influenced any number of fellow artists. Justin is honored with the Moody Blues on the Rock Walk Hall of Fame on Sunset Boulevard and this year the band will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Born and brought up in Swindon in the UK, Justin’s interest in music started early when he was five years old and his grandfather bequeathed him his large collection of 78 rpm recordings. Upon leaving school at 17 he became a guitarist for UK Rock and Roll hero Marty Wilde, who Justin credits for his inspiration to become a songwriter.
Justin joined the Moody Blues in the summer of 1966. Hitting his stride immediately with the single “Fly Me High,” he followed it up with the classic hit songs “Nights in White Satin” and “Tuesday Afternoon” from the seminal album Days of Future Passed. This album went on to become a favorite of the NASA astronauts and was taken aboard the Atlantis shuttle space craft by Chief astronaut “Hoot” Gibson on many missions.
Classic genre-defining hits “Question,” “The Voice”, “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”, “The Story In Your Eyes” and “Your Wildest Dreams” laid the foundation for the incredible success story of the Moody Blues – as well as his solo work – which continues to this day.
When the Moody Blues took a break from touring in 1975, Justin worked on the Blue Jays album, followed by the hit single “Blue Guitar” (recorded with the members of 10cc). Although the Moodies continued to record and tour at the highest level, Justin also found time to create several solo albums: Songwriter, Night Flight, Moving Mountains and The View From the Hill.
In the 1980s, he was made a member of the famous “SODS” (The Society of Distinguished Songwriters) and in 2012 he was elected ‘King SOD’. He also collaborated in 1989 with Mike Batt and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and recorded the album Classic Blue.
Justin was presented with “The Golden Note” award from ASCAP in 2005, the top honor for a British writer, and he has appeared in Nashville regularly with other songwriters in showcase events. In 2013, The Performing Rights Society in the UK awarded him his second Ivor Novello statue for ‘Outstanding Achievement’.
Justin records in Italy and France of which he says, “Spending time making music in a beautiful place with your friends is every songwriter’s dream.” Justin undertook extensive solo tours in both 2016 and 2017; and in 2018 Justin will again head out on the road bringing his wonderful music to his fans in the UK and Europe, as well as North America.
As well as live shows, Justin has released several solo recordings; an album of new songs Spirits Of The Western Sky – for Eagle Rock – was released in 2013 followed by several solo tours, and in 2014 a “live in concert” DVD Spirits…Live was made available, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Video chart. 2016 saw the release of All The Way (Eagle Rock Entertainment), a compilation from Justin’s solo career. All The Way includes Justin’s solo songs, a recording with The London Philharmonic Orchestra, solo live performances and unique versions of classic Moody Blues tracks and the brand new song “The Wind Of Heaven.”
2018 saw the 50th anniversary of the Days Of Future Passed album. The band marked this with some North American dates and the release of the concert recording Days Of Future Passed Live.
“I have spent most of my life, so far, on the road,” says Justin. “Playing live and creating a small piece of magic in a room is like a drug to me, one that I never want to give up.”
Mike Dawes: This young steel string guitar virtuoso returns to New London after having opened for master guitarist Tommy Emmanuel at the Garde on July 18.
A native in the South of England, Mike Dawes, discovered the music of Pierre Bensusan at an early age. Mike has been stunning audiences and critics with his guitar playing since 2008. His music often defies description, taking influence from Celtic, Rock, World and Popular music.