“To play live music, travel to places we enjoy, and keep up with the amazing people we encounter along the way.“ That’s the mission statement that rings true for both Max Hay and Phil Edgeley. It’s no wonder they decided to team up for a summertime tour of “The Last Best Place.”
Edgeley, one of Australia’s busiest blues guitarists, lives out the mantra with his wife and sometime percussionist, Trudy. “Traveling in a fried-out combi,” they bring the boutique sounds of National, Weissenborn and Churchill guitars to parts of Australia most people have never heard about.
Helena native and part-time Great Falls resident Hay makes his home in a smashed-up Chevy van and tours 362 days a year playing blues, Irish, and original music throughout the U.S. and occasionally in China, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, and North Dakota.
“I’ve been inviting people from overseas to Montana for years just to show off my favorite places,” he says. “Phil and Trudy finally agreed to come, so we are going to play as many shows in my favorite bars as we can, share all the local beers, and take in all the sky and landscapes we can.”
Hay booked the tour and is hosting the Edgeleys’ first visit to Montana. “It’s a rare treat to bring some of my favorite musicians together with my favorite bars, towns, and landscapes. I just know they will fall in love with the amazing people.”
Hay grew up in Helena and spent his early twenties in Missoula playing in bands Shot in the Foot, The Two Fuggin Guys, and Front Street Guitar Army. In 2003, he attended the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Tempe, AZ. Following school, he worked as an audio engineer in Nashville, mixing for stage and studio before signing on as tour manager/soundman for a country-rock band. Hay began warming up the crowd at select gigs and his focus soon shifted from engineering and management back to his own music.
With a weathered guitar and the voice of a peppered badger, Hay’s music is a spicy departure from the traditional acoustic act. A savory mix of American country, blues, Irish folk, and sharp-witted original songs make for a gourmet entertainment experience. His delivery is a full body workout of stomping feet, articulate harmonica work, percussive guitar, and the occasional egg-shaker. Expect Appalachian, Irish, Jamaican, and blues rhythms mixed with inspiration from the likes of Tom Waits, The Pogues, Mark Knopfler, J.J. Cale, Lyle Lovett, Bruce Springsteen, and others.
Catch the nomads on their Montana tour:
Miles City: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Trails Inn Bar and Comedy Club
Great Falls: 7 p.m. Aug. 3 at The Front Public House
Helena: 4 p.m. Aug. 4 at Lakeside on Hauser, with special guest Victoria Hale; and 8 p.m. Aug. 10 at the Montana Club
Missoula: 7 p.m. Aug. 9 at Monk’s
Dean: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 16 and noon Aug. 18 at Montana Jack’s
Roberts: 8 p.m. Aug. 17 at The Lost Village Saloon
For a complete list of tour dates and more information, visit www.maxhay.com.