Quick Q and A with Hayley Reardon

In this interview Hayley talks about her work about anti-bullying for teens and how that mission has become such a focal point in her life lately, her involvement with the documentary about Club 47, For the Love of the Music, and her new full-length CD, Where the Artists Are.  Hayley has matured as an artist before our eyes here in her hometown of Marblehead, Massachusetts. She takes her role as a youthful folk music emissary seriously.  She is a remarkable young woman and is using her music to impart her wisdom in all kinds of wonderful ways.

To learn more about Hayley, check out her website.

You can read about the anti-bullying program at the PACER Center here.

Hayley-Reardon

You’ve had some wonderful opportunities with your work with the PACER National Bullying Prevention Center.  How does it feel to be a teenage ambassador to travel around and speak and sing to all kind of kids across the country?

 For me, it has been the most amazing and special part of this whole journey. The students I meet inspire me in ways that I really haven’t even found the words to express yet and my mission and purpose seem to have done nothing but grow over the past three years.

Tell us about your trip to Alaska. What was that like?

Aside from Alaska being the beautiful place that it is, and the farthest I had ever traveled for something music related, the thing that really struck me about the whole trip was the realness of everyone I met there. The people take a real ownership in the land and the beauty around them and seem to really focus their attention on what’s truly important. The communities, students, and teachers I spent my time with up there were just very relaxed and genuine people and I loved every minute I got to spend with them.

What was it like to be chosen to participate in the documentary about the folk scene and the history of Club 47??  

Every time I watch For The Love of The Music it becomes a little more real to me just how great the honor of being in it is. I’m intrigued, inspired, and at times overwhelmed by the history and community that has gone into making Club 47 and now Club Passim the cultural landmark that it is and getting to feel like a part of that in some small way has been truly remarkable for me.

 You’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with some real heavy hitting folkies like Tom Rush and Peter Yarrow. What do your classmates think about this? Are kids you know and hang with even aware of this part of music history?

Aside from knowing “Puff the Magic Dragon,” I don’t think many of my friends have any idea who Peter Yarrow or Tom Rush are. But I’m sure there are teenagers out there somewhere who do! It is definitely a cool feeling to be so connected to the music that came before me. At times I feel like I’m in on a secret that my peers don’t know about, and with that, for me, comes a lot of responsibility. If I’m the one lucky enough to be in Peter Yarrow’s living room hearing his stories of performing at the March on Washington and what that felt like and stood for, it’s my job to soak that in and make it real again. It’s my job to share the songs and stories that represent something so much bigger than just the music our parents used to listen to.

Tell us about the making of your album Where the Artists Go.  What was it like to work with such a prestigious backing band and producer?  

 here the Artists Go was my first experience making a full length record, and pretty much set a standard for how I want that process to go for the rest of my record-making days. I was 15 for most of the time we spent making the album, and Lorne was very thoughtful in filling the studio with not only amazing musicians, but great people in general who would see me as an artist before they saw me as a kid. These guys brought my songs to life and taught me so much in the process. I actually remember getting in the car with my dad after our last day of recording and saying “I think the past few days have been some of the best days of my life so far.”

Hayley Reardon will be appearing at the me&thee in Marblehead, MA on Friday, April 19.

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