Waylon Payne

Ages 16 and up
Wednesday, September 28
Doors: 8pm
$16

Globe Hall Presents Waylon Payne on Wednesday, September 28th. 

Magic happens when everything comes together like it’s supposed to — when the joys and the pain, the triumphs and the missteps all click into place to be seen for what they truly are. Waylon Payne’s Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me (releasing 9/11/20 via Carnival Recording Company / Empire) is such a moment, the culmination of an extraordinary journey set to music.

A son of country music royalty, a teenaged Baptist preacher turned addict and actor, Payne sings about fathers and sons, faith and addiction, recovery and renewal with devastating clarity. His character-rich collection harks back to a way of telling stories in song that revealed kept secrets and promised mystery. Over his years, Payne has felt the terrible power secrets can hold and learned the transformative value of releasing them. Finally, he’s in a place where he can harness that power to create transcendent work.

Payne recorded Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me primarily at Southern Ground Nashville, a converted century-old church building just off Music Row that once housed Monument Studios. Payne’s mother, country singer Sammi Smith, cut her iconic version of Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night” at Monument. When Payne recorded his vocals, he says, “I stood in the same spot she stood and sang while she was pregnant with me.”

There’s tenderness to these songs, an empathy for lost souls who may or may not find their way home. Payne wrestles with the legacy of family dysfunctions in songs like “Sins of the Father” and “What A High Horse.” A pair of poignant vignettes, “Shiver” and “Old Blue Eyes,” team with tragedy and chilling beauty. “There are jewels buried deep in the record, and if you’re a junkie, you’ll catch them,” Payne says.

He views “Dangerous Criminal” as his point of reckoning. “It’s basically me admitting I have a problem,” he says. “I am a person who will get himself into trouble and in danger unless I keep myself in check.”

“After the Storm” and “Precious Thing” play like prayers, while “Santa Anna Winds” was written as a lullaby for the young boy whose voice is the first thing heard on the album, a child Payne views as almost a son and by whose first birthday he marks his sobriety. Payne also recorded his own version of “All the Trouble,” the GRAMMY- nominated song he wrote with Lee Ann Womack and Adam Wright and which Womack recorded for her 2017 album The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone. Payne’s talent as a songwriter has also been recognized by artists Ashely Monroe, Miranda Lambert and Wade Bowen, who have chosen to record his songs.

Payne may have recorded Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me in Nashville, but it started a decade ago in Texas, as he came through the worst of his addiction and got clean with the help of family and friends there. “For a while, I couldn’t even write,” he says. “I couldn’t put thoughts together, because I had really fried my brain. Once I got sober, everything came.”

For Payne, each song reflects a different situation in his life. Together, though, they tell of a prodigal son returning home — not to the family of his birth, but home to the true self he’d once nearly abandoned.

“The essential DNA elements of this record are my self-written confessions and pleas for forgiveness,” he says. “It all revolves around me getting right with myself and the universe. Maybe I still am a preacher in a way — I just channel into what’s supposed to be.”

– 16+, under 16 admitted with a ticketed parent or guardian

Waylon Malloy Payne (born 5 April 1972) is an American country singer, songwriter, musician and actor. Payne was born in Nashville, Tennessee, the son of guitarist Jody Payne and Grammy Award-winning country singer Sammi Smith. His father became a longtime picker for Willie Nelson; his mother toured with Waylon Jennings. Payne is named for Jennings, who is his godfather. Due to the divorce of his parents and their heavy touring schedules, when he was about four months old, Payne's mother placed him with her brother and sister-in-law, Bob and Yvonne, in Vidor, Texas. Waylon spent summers out on the road with his mom, and lived with his strict Christian uncle and aunt during the school year, until he was about 18. After high school, Payne enrolled in seminary to become a minister. Payne had also acquired a taste for beer, marijuana, and popular music, which made his downfall complete in the eyes of his aunt and uncle. "I haven't seen them since," he has said. "I was branded a sinner and basically disowned." Payne's music industry career began to take shape in the clubs of Los Angeles. He was part of the popular Eastbound and Down country night at the King King Club in Hollywood, which featured musicians playing pure, uncompromising roots music and appealed to such artists as Lucinda Williams and Dwight Yoakam. Prohibited was the playing of anything but traditional classics by Hank Williams, George Jones and other performers of true country. While in L.A., Payne wrote and recorded some songs with the help of his group of musical friends, which included producer Keith Gattis. With the record completed, but no deal to market it, Payne was playing New York with Willie Nelson and Pat Green, when Green suggested he play the album for his label, Republic/Universal. Payne was signed with the label and his début album, "The Drifter," was released 22 June 2004. Shortly thereafter, Payne was featured in the role as Jerry Lee Lewis in the hit 20th Century Fox movie Walk the Line (2005), which stars Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter, and did all his own singing. In 2007, Payne then starred as Hank Garland in an independent feature about the legendary guitarist's life titled Crazy. In 2010, he starred in Monte Hellman's thriller Road to Nowhere. In 2014, he played the role of Tony Nash in The Identical. In 2015, he joined Willie Nelson in the film Waiting for the Miracle to Come playing Shooter Jones. He also played the lead in the drama titled Turnabout. In addition to film, Waylon has made several guest appearances on television, including the series Wanted (2004), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2006) and From Dusk Til Dawn (2014).