Wade Hayes with Daryle Singletary and Rhett Akins

The past decade has offered many case studies indicative of just what is wrong with Nashville country music today. One of the clearest is that of Wade Hayes. This Oklahoma-bred singer-guitarist would seem to have everything Music City wants and more: youthful good looks, a preternaturally mature baritone voice, musical authenticity, a modicum of songwriting talent as well as a fair measure of guitar picking flair. Yet after four albums and even a few hits (like the perpetually catchy "Old Enough To Know Better"), Sony Music unceremoniously dumped him. But having cut his teeth in the Okie honky-tonks, Hayes is the real deal and shouldn't yet be counted out. In fact, if you favor commercial country with credibility, he's a treat not to be missed.

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