Walker Hayes’ Inspiring Song ‘Craig’ Comes Full Circle
Who is "Craig"? The subject of the most uplifting moment on Walker Hayes' new Boom. album is a real, extremely generous churchgoer and he has heard it. "It crushed him," Hayes admits.
Talking to Taste of Country, Hayes tells the story of the final song on Boom., released Dec. 8. After he lost a record deal and a publishing deal, the singer's minivan was repossessed, leaving him with one car for him, his wife and six kids. He recalls not having enough seat belts for them all until Craig visited him at one of his son's baseball games.
"He just laughed inside that old Chrysler Town and Country van / With the keys, and a title, and a pen in his hand / Said 'Man, all you got to do is sign and it's yours'," Hayes sings.
At his lowest point, this friend from church was there. Later it all came full circle when Hayes had a chance to share the song "Craig" with the man who inspired it.
“He tells the story of him hearing it as he was having a couple of bad weeks and was really down and dark," Hayes says. "I just sent it to him, out of the blue. I sent it to him and his wife and just said, ‘Thanks. I always wanted to just say thanks.’ It crushed him. He listened to it in the parking lot of a theater and his wife texted me and said ‘He heard it, he can’t speak. He can’t text you right now.’ I think he was just losing it, crying."
Originally the piano-driven, gospel-like pop-country song wasn't meant to make this album — Hayes just wrote it because he wanted to properly show the gratitude he was unable to show when he took the keys to the new van. That it did make the album allows the 37-year-old to relive the moment again and again.
"I got goosebumps right now telling you that, because I just imagine him ... I just wanted him to feel appreciated with that song," Hayes says. "But he will not play it for people ... His wife will be like, 'Y'all come and listen, he doesn't want to play you this song.'"
The story of "Craig" is just one part of our in-depth interview with Hayes in which he discusses his ongoing struggle with success, family and alcohol.
Walker Hayes Talks About His Struggles With Alcohol