Steve “Chief” Hayes, has been called upon to contribute his drumming talents to numerous bands and artists over the years and is currently performing with Bob Dorr & the Blue Band.
He first started performing on drums in high school, landing his first paid gig at Ernie’s in Cedar Rapids during this time. Hayes’ main influences are drummers Sonny Freeman (B.B. King), Art Blakey, and Fred Below, who was a mainstay of the Chess Record label.
Hayes first steady gig was at the age of 16 with Leo & the Hilltoppers. He also had stints with the bands Picnic and the Fabulous Shucker Brothers in the early ‘70s, performed Jazz in the Billy Finger Quintet, and played original music with the Rock band, Southfield Junction, along with Dan Keely and Dan Magarrell.
Hayes was invited to join the Mother Blues Band in ’77 and was with them until 1982. This began his relationship with Rico Cicalo, Joe Price, Patrick Hazell, and Bo Ramsey.
He helped form the Rhythm Rockers in ’82 with Cicalo, Magarrell, and Steve Grismore – noted Jazz guitarist and instructor.
Throughout the next decade or so Hayes performed with Bo Ramsey, Dennis McMurrin, Kevin Gordon, Greg Brown, Dave Moore, Divin’ Duck, Jim Schwall, Mose Allison, Bill and Butch Null, Hawkeye Herman, and others. In addition, Hayes was instrumental in the founding of the Rockadiles.
More recently he has also recorded with Rob Lumbard, Bryce Janey, Merrill J. Miller, Pieta Brown, and has been laying down the beat with Bob Dorr & the Blue Band.
Last year, Hayes was the drummer on albums by Bryce Janey, Jeffrey Foucault, and Greg Brown, in addition to playing on Bo Ramsey’s Stranger Blues.
Besides becoming a member of the IBHOF, Steve will also have the honor of being inducted into the Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year with both the Mother Blues Band and the Blue Band.
PHOTO © SCOTT ALLEN – VIVIDPIX.COM