Justin Haigh (pronounced Haig) is a horse of a different color when it comes to today’s country artists. Life as a cattle rancher, meat packer, trucker and U. S. Air Force service man has helped shape this unique country artist. Haigh’s entertaining stories, taken straight from his colorful adventures, form the foundation of the traditional country songs on his debut album People Like Me.
“I titled the album People Like Me because my music will appeal to those traditional country music fans…like me! My goal is to make true country music come alive in the modern age through my songs. My debut single and video, ‘All My Best Friends (Are Behind Bars),’ is indicative of my approach to country music,” states Haigh.
Haigh was raised in Wessington, South Dakota, (90 miles east of the state capitol of Pierre). The son of a rancher, his father gave him his first guitar at the age of four. “I grew up with horses and cattle” he says, “I worked long days cutting hay, mending fences, and breaking horses, so I spent a lot more time listening to country music than playing it.”
“Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Lefty Frizzell, Hank Williams Sr. and Hee Haw had a huge impact on me as a young man. But along with those guys, Brad Paisley, AC/DC, Sunny Sweeney and Jaime Johnson are also on my iPod. Although I am a huge music fan, the traditional stuff is always at the top of the list,” he beams.
Haigh followed his dream to Texas, in 2006 to work with producer Lew Curatolo, which ultimately led to a deal with Apache Ranch Records. Ken Landry, who signed him to the label says, “It was his distinctive vocals that sold me immediately.”
“Since signing to Apache and working with Lew, I’ve had the opportunity to improve my songwriting, and I am so proud of this record,” says Haigh, “When I heard that Jim Shea was going to shoot my album cover and come down to Austin to direct the video, I just couldn’t believe it! This is the guy who does videos for Paisley, Haggard and now me!”
“My debut single and video is ‘All My Best Friends (Are Behind Bars).’ It is actually a song I wrote after the album was recorded. My co-manager, Jim Della Croce, heard it and encouraged us to include the song on People Like Me. Lew and Ken quickly agreed. With the record and video done, I am really looking forward to getting back out on the road. Although making records and videos are fun, it’s really all about the live shows and, of course, having a little fun out there too,” concludes Haigh.
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