Nancy Hays specializes in classic country, 90s country, patriotic and line dance music. She can work as a soloist with guitar accompaniment or tracks, with the Nancy Hays Trio or with her full ensemble, Nancy Hays & The Sawyer Brothers Band.
Nancy Hays has opened for legends in country music including Conway Twitty, Marty Stuart, Glen Campbell, Ronnie Milsap and many others, backed by the Sawyer Brothers Band. Their musical repertoire includes classic country, country rock, western music and line dance favorites with musicians playing pedal steel, electric guitar, bass, keyboards, fiddle, drums, acoustic guitar and female back up vocals. Everyone in the group sings, as well as plays instruments. Their songfest includes hits by Shania Twain, Reba, Tammy Wynette, Alabama, Patsy Cline, The Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels and many more. Nancy and the band have worked together without changing members since the 1980s.
Nancy Hays currently resides in Chicago. She grew up in Champaign County and graduated from the University of Illinois. She received her Master’s at Northwestern University. The Sawyer Brothers Band is based in Charleston, Champaign and Effingham.
This is a song I wrote that features three of my children; Matthew on guitar and vocals and my daughters Mary and Caroline on vocals. The song was recorded shortly before the pandemic.
Sample 1-Back in Illinois is my story and my song. I was born in Central Illinois. I have traveled all over the world but home is where the heart is and Illinois is home to me. Performing this song that I wrote in the studio with my kids, felt really special especially since they have watched their mom perform all of their lives and as a result, music is also in their blood.
I was an opening act for many legendary artists; Conway Twitty, Glen Campbell, Ronnie Milsap, Lee Greenwood, Marty Stuart, Crystal Gayle, Kenny Rogers and others.Years ago, I appeared at the Illinois State Fair. I have recorded 5 albums and performed 5 tours of my original country music in the UK. I still have the same wonderful Illinois based band and we still love performing classic country. I have a world wide line dance hit that continues to gain in popularity. Anyone who line dances considers it now a "classic".
Nancy Hays’ mission is to perform traditional patriotic music that honors our military as well as live classic country that pays tribute to legendary artists in the genre with quality instrumentation, tight harmonies and authentic vocals. Included in the performance is a collection of stories behind some of the classic country artists covered in the repertoire.
Programs for Specific Audience(s) Expertise
Nancy Hays is very popular artist with veterans groups and has sung the National Anthem, Canadian Anthem and Armed Forces Military Medley for US Presidents, governors, mayors, The American Legion and The Wounded Warrior Foundation. Nancy enjoys performing for all types of events including public, private and educational.
Another speciality Nancy Hays offers is line dancing. Her original song, Come Dance with Me remains one of the most popular line dances in the world and is loved by line dancers everywhere. Nancy has made five tours of the UK with her original music. She will return to the UK for her sixth tour in October of 2024. Nancy can offer to teach a line dance as part of an overall entertainment package, if it is requested. She also performs holiday and line dance music with three of her young adult children live, on television, and in the recording studio under the name, Nancy Hays & the Heffernans.
Traditional Folk/Ethnic Artform Statement
My music pulls from sounds of the 60s/70s and 80s, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins and others. Those artists were popular when I was very young and had a strong influence on me. Central Illinois is where artists like Dan Fogelberg, Suzy Bogguss and Allison Kraus started. So my music is very much in keeping with that homegrown style that is timeless Illinois music.
Chicago IL 60631