It’s no secret that Walker Hayes is an open book. The country music singer-songwriter has always been outspoken about various aspects of his life, including his personal struggles with addiction and alcohol abuse.
And, while he has managed to overcome his battle with alcoholism through faith and hard work, and has been sober since 2016, Hayes continuously addresses areas of his life that need work through his music.
In fact, the 42-year-old country star and 2022 CMT Artist of the Year has written many songs on the topic of sobriety, ranging from his melancholy “Beer In The Fridge” to his more light-hearted popular track “AA,” which went on to become a Top 10 hit on Billboard’s US Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts, respectively.
The latter of the two features the lyrics, “I’m just tryna keep my wife from figuring out / That I married up and she married way, way down / In Alabama where they love Nick Saban / Tryna write a song the local country station’ll play / Hey, I’m just tryna stay out of AA”
Now, it turns out Hayes has penned another song that reflects on his previous experience with alcohol dependence. And, from the sounds of it, the tune’s catchy melody and lyrics may just earn the same level of success as “AA.”
At his sold-out show in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Saturday, (Oct. 22), as part of his Glad You’re Here tour, Hayes spoke about his battle with alcohol and told fans he officially marked seven years sober. To celebrate the accomplishment, the father of six and loving husband to supportive wife Laney debuted an unreleased track called “Same Drunk.”
Introducing the song, he told fans, “I wrote this song; I want to share it with y’all. It’s called ‘Same Drunk.’”
“It’s not out yet, but I love testing new stuff out,” he added while standing on the Alliant Energy PowerHouse stage, as seen in a video captured by one fan in attendance at his show.
Hayes then launched into his tune, playing a few bars on his acoustic guitar before his full band joined in on various instruments. Beginning the lyrics, Hayes began to sing about the different dependencies that members of a family can have.
“Mommas hooked on looking young / Daddy’s hooked on cutting the grass / Brother’s hooked on smoking some / Ain’t about to start judging / I put down alcohol,” Hayes belts out the lyrics of the song, which seemed to draw a positive response from those in the audience. “So maybe we are just the same drunk, different beer / Trying to cope with all the crazy down here!”
During the show, as shared by K92.3FM, Hayes also noted that he didn’t just have a problem with alcohol, but explained that he has always had an addictive personality.
Luckily he has managed to turn the negative additions into more positive ones.
“Whether it be working out or just anything, pretty much anything I touch, I can turn it into an addiction,” Hayes said.
Hayes recently appeared on Southern Living’s summer tour edition of Biscuits & Jam, where he talked about turning to alcohol after facing rejection both in Nashville and from those back home, and finding his faith after losing his seventh child, a daughter named Oakleigh.
“Our families had become quiet. It’s almost like we couldn’t be around any family members without them dry heaving the words, ‘how much longer are you gonna do this?’ or ‘when are you coming home?’” Hayes recalled. “And if they didn’t say it, you could read it on their faces. So sadly, Laney and I were just getting more and more on that island of isolation.”
“I’d been sober for three years when we lost Oakleigh. I was ready to not be. As soon as that happened, I was like, ‘this is why you drink,’” he added.“I know for some reason losing Oakleigh led me to Christ. I would not know Jesus if I had not known the loss of my daughter. That’s what it took for me. Losing Oakleigh granted me the knowledge of how much control I do not have. It gave me the freedom to just love my kids and kind of get down on their level and quit trying to imagine what I think the perfect future would look like.”
@walkerhayesofficial will honor his late daughter, Oakleigh, in a new song called “Six On Earth, One In Heaven.” #WalkerHayes
Hayes is currently on the road as part of his headlining Glad You’re Here Tour. The trek, which includes Parmalee as a special guest, began on Sept. 29. Hayes’ next tour stop takes place on Saturday, (Nov. 5) in Bakersfield, CA.