This past year was a long year for all of us. No restaurants, movie theaters, parties or concerts. The lockdown came just as Colin Hay was preparing to leave for what he considered his most comprehensive North American tour ever. A few dates were played before venues were sealed shut. Now, as the world slowly and surely resumes some semblance of normalcy, Hay is heading out on the road for real.
The tour commences August 4 in Hyannis, Mass., and works its way through the East Coast, South, Midwest and West, ending September 11 in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Renowned globally as frontman in the Australian band Men at Work, Hay has since proven himself as a solo artist, touring with his own L.A.-based band and as part of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band. But his love for music was born in his native Scotland, where, working at his parents record store, he heard all the hits of the day, from the Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset” to Faces’ “Ooh La La” to Dusty Springfield’s “I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself.” At home during quarantine in early 2021, he read that Gerry Marsden had died and found himself strumming the Gerry and the Pacemakers’ Merseybeat hit, “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying.” He decided to turn on the tape machines and share with his frequent collaborator/producer, Chad Fischer, who asked for more of the same.
Thus followed the recording of I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself, a new studio album set for August 6 release featuring ten versions of some of Colin’s particular favorites — songs tied to memories and eras in his life. These lushly arranged versions showcase Hay’s ability to interpret a song and remind one just how instantly recognizable his voice is. While most of the songs are from the ’60s, Hay does a moving version of Scottish group Del Amitri’s heartbreaking “Driving With the Brakes On,” which he calls “simply one of the best songs ever written.”
In addition to I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself, Hay is at work on a collection of originals. Those who attend his summer shows may get a preview of those songs, as well as a retrospective of his Men at Work and solo years.
According to Hay, "I recorded an album of songs written by other people that have meant a lot to me ever since I was a young fellow. I can’t wait to play them for you on this upcoming jaunt across the land. Old songs, new songs, and everything in between. It will be good to again make a good noise after so long, and transport you to a place of beauty, hope and wonder.”
Summer 2021 tour dates:
Wed., Aug. 4 HYANNIS, MA Cape Cod Melody Tent
Thu., Aug. 5 COHASSET, MA South Shore Music Circus
Fri., Aug. 6 SALISBURY, MA Blue Ocean Music Hall
Sat., Aug. 7 LOWELL, MA Boarding House Park
Sun., Aug. 8 HAMMONDSPORT, NY Point of the Bluff Vineyards
Tues., Aug. 10 OCEAN CITY, NJ Ocean City Music Pier
Wed., Aug. 11 BETHLEHEM, PA Wind Creek Steel Stage at PNC Plaza
Fri., Aug. 13 RIDGEFIELD, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
Sat.-Sun., Aug. 14-15 NEW YORK, NY City Winery New York
Tues.-Wed., Aug. 17-18 ALEXANDRIA, VA Birchmere
Thurs., Aug. 19 CHARLOTTE, NC McGlohan Theater
Fri., Aug. 20 ATLANTA, GA City Winery Atlanta
Sat., Aug. 21 PELHAM, TN The Caverns
Thurs., Aug. 26 GRAND RAPIDS, MI Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Sat., Aug. 28 WASHBURN, WI Big Top Chautauqua
Sun., Aug. 29 CHICAGO, IL Park West
Wed., Sept. 1 ARVADA, CO Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
Thu., Sept. 2 SALT LAKE CITY, UT Red Butte Garden
Sat., Sept. 11 REDONDO BEACH, CA BeachLife Festival 2021