Christy Hays Hays’ greatest source of inspiration is nature and wide-open spaces, themes often developed in her songs. The nomadic Hays, who arrived in Austin after an extended stint in Nashville, often tours her former stomping grounds of Alaska, where she lived for nearly five years doing a variety of odd jobs, including a couple summers working as a river guide and living in a cabin with no electricity or running water. A native of the small central Illinois town of Tuscola, Hays can also escape the faster pace of Austin and find a quiet space to write in Butte, Montana. Christy Hays’ two recent EPs, “O’ Montana” and “Caliche,” reflect both the singer- songwriter’s complicated, dual nature and the sounds of the many places she’s called home.
“O’ Montana” is a gorgeous folk- and country-flavored solo collection and a natural progression from Hays’ 2012 album “Drought.” “Caliche,” on the other hand, is a band effort that indulges Hays’ occasional desire to plug-in and rock out. The result is an Americana rock and roll record with an occasional psychedelic flourish.