Words by William
I grew up in a folk household. We sat in circles and took turns playing everything we could think of—from bluegrass to sea shanties to whatever we loved on the radio. But what it always came down to was exploring Americana. That timeless American voice has a special place in my heart.
The Little Miss made my whole weekend. I’ve crushed everything Hayley Johnson has released so far and ALL of it is Americana. She sings like a river, flowing comfortably through folk, country, jazz, and alt-rock. Every track is fresh but distinctly her own voice. So I sat there, drinking my breakfast beer, only thinking “DAMN. This woman has talent.”
Looking to capture the apple pie-eyed idealism of traditional Americana music, The Little Miss can be most accurately described as a romantic, twenty-first century take on a seemingly simpler time. With roots in jazz, blues and folk music, the sound of The Little Miss ranges from the gritty guitar riffs of the old west to one-take, twangy samplings straight from the plains. Influences include Woody Guthrie’s simplicity, Frank Sinatra’s theatrical nature, Cole Porter’s wit, Billie Holiday’s pain, and Bob Dylan’s right foot.
Studio recordings from The Little Miss are fantastic, but all Hayley really needs is her plunky guitar and her stomping foot. The phrase “stupid good” comes to mind listening to her. Keep an eye out for her, and start with A Ride Along the Mountain Valley.
Hear it below: