Weekly Feature

2013-12-19 / Local News

Guitarist Hayden Fogle signs with label


Hayden Fogle performs at the anniversary party of Thursday Night Blues at Central Park Grill on Dec. 5. Hayden Fogle performs at the anniversary party of Thursday Night Blues at Central Park Grill on Dec. 5. It is an impressive feat to be signed to a major guitar label when you have been playing for only five years. It is even more impressive when you are only 13 years old. Yet Hayden Fogle, an eighth-grader at Orchard Park Middle School, is humble about being recently signed to Paul Reed Smith guitars.

“When I started, I wasn’t that good. I was just like anybody learning the notes,” said Hayden. “My fingers were uncoordinated.”

Yet Hayden’s father, Todd Fogle, remembers it differently.

“Every teacher he’s had was just amazed with him. He can just hear it and then play it,” Fogle said. Fogle remembers when his son would not go anywhere without his guitar in hand.

“He ate with it,” Fogle said. “He’s always playing it in the house.”

Hayden developed his passion for jazz and blues music as a young child living in Mississippi. He started taking lessons with local blues musician Mick Hayes. Six months after he began studying the genre, Hayden had the opportunity to play onstage with multiple Grammy winner Buddy Guy — one of his idols, during a concert at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts in June 2012.

“I was super nervous,” recalled Hayden about the moment before he took the stage. It was a fear that quickly dissipated once Hayden began to play the music he so loves. He said the feeling he gets when he performs is “better than any other feeling in the world.”

Since that fateful performance, Hayden has played in several blues festivals and with many other regional and national blues bands, including Dive House Union, Quinn Sullivan and Robert Randolph, Donald Kinsey and The Kinsey Report, and Howard and the White Boys with Pete Galanis. He has also performed on the radio with Anita West at WBFO.

Hayden also had the chance to play with Guy again the following February and again this past September.

The recordings of Hayden and Guy’s performances caught the ear of Jack Higginbotham, president of Paul Reed Smith, who invited Hayden to play at Experience PRS 2013. The festival in Maryland drew approximately 3,000, Fogle noted. It was on that trip when Higginbotham asked Hayden to join the Paul Reed Smith Family of Artists.

“Their goal is to really help get [Hayden] established. The idea is to try to get some exposure,” said Fogle, who added that making it in this industry is very competitive.

Still, Hayden is prepared to work hard. He is constantly polishing up on the fundamentals of the genre and is always trying to evolve his technique.

“If you have this amazing gift, it’s not something you can let go to waste. It’s something special, and you have to work hard at it,” said Hayden.

He encourages young artists to look for opportunities to perform in front of others. “Play onstage as much as possible,” he said.

Fogle said he and other members of the Western New York Blues Society are working on ways to get more youth involvement.

Hayden also posts advice for other young musicians on his Facebook page.

Hayden hopes to make a career out of his talent and passion for playing the blues. For now, he plays with his band, The Treble Rousers, which is led by George Olmsted. The band will next perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at Central Park Grill, 2519 Main St., Buffalo.

For more information on Hayden Fogle, visit his website at www.haydenfogle.com.

(Story ideas for this feature can be sent to Orchard Park Bee Editor Catherine Colmerauer, Bee Publications, PO Box 150, Buffalo, NY 14231-0150 or call 204-4902.)

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