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/// ON TOUR


COLIN HAY: Living in the Present


| by Nick Manes I


T’S NOT ALWAYS EASY being a musician who is best known for work done nearly three decades ago, but Colin Hay manages quite well.


In the early ‘80s, Hay fronted the


Australian pop band Men at Work, which had several hits throughout its seven years, but it was the iconic song “Down Under” that en- lightened American audiences to the existence of vegemite sandwiches. For as many people who love Hay’s stint with Men at Work, few are familiar with his almost- dozen solo records. Hay also consistently tours nationally as well as internationally – and this is all on top of a considerable amount of act- ing work. On March 23, Compass


Records released Hay’s elev- enth solo record, Gathering Mercury. While not necessarily genre-specific, the album contains aspects of folk and adult pop. It also contains some deeply personal aspects, as Hay’s father passed away while he was recording it. “My deceased father is all over this re-


cord,” Hay said. “I felt like he was there with me.”


While Hay is hesitant to compare Gathering Mercury to earlier works or to Men


44 | REVUEWM.COM | APRIL 2011


at Work, he is quick to exclaim the successes of this project, simply declaring, “It’s fabulous!” One of the aspects of which Hay is most


proud on this new record is the more stripped- down approach to song writing he has utilized. “I try and leave the songs a little more


bare the older I get,” Hay said. “I try and let the song speak for itself.” Coinciding with the release of Gathering


COLIN HAY Saugatuck Center for the Arts May 1, 8 p.m., $35 sc4a.org, (269) 857-2399


Mercury is a large multi-month national tour. On May 1, Hay’s tour will make a stop in Michigan at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Hay explains that he has always enjoyed touring, and makes a point of playing both songs from new records and older crowd favorites. “The Men at Work ex-


perience was powerful… but


I’ve been on my own for 27 years,” Hay said. “Many who come and see me weren’t even alive when Men at Work were around. Their point of reference was seeing me on [NBC sit-com] ‘Scrubs.’” As Hay approaches 60, he continues to


accelerate. “There is no relaxation,” Hay says. “It’s


pretty much full-on for the next couple months.” n


SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE


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