Walker Hayes might be known as the good-timing “Fancy Like” guy, but fans of the artist’s deeper cuts already know that his song catalog is full of tear-jerking ballads, too.
For example, Country Stuff (The Album) includes a searing track called “Briefcase,” which Walker wrote about his complicated, loving relationship with his dad.
The song’s lyrics remember how his father sold real estate and was often too busy to spend time with the family. Once Walker grew up and became a father himself, he gained new perspective on the sacrifices his dad had to make to provide for his kids.
“He died right before this hit the rocket ship,” Walker explains in an interview on Southern Living's Biscuits & Jam podcast. “And it’s been perplexing to me this year. Honestly, I still text him. I texted his number from the Grammys, and said, ‘You know, I’m nominated for a Grammy.”
Though he never lived to see his son’s biggest musical successes, Walker says that his dad was an instrumental part of his early days in music.
“My first gig was at the yacht club on Mobile Bay. The only reason I played that show is because he booked it. He called me and said, ‘You’re already signed up to play,’ and he didn’t ask me, he didn’t ask if I wanted to, he didn’t say ‘practice,’ he said, ‘You’re playing on Friday,’” Walker remembers.
“I played that gig and it truly changed my life, and he is the reason,” he added.