When singer-songwriter Christy Hays recorded a song about Butte and posted it on YouTube, she didn’t anticipate the response she would get.
Hays and her song “Town Underground” were recently featured in an Austin (Texas) Chronicle article. In the article, staff writer Kevin Curtin calls the song “a complex picture of a minimized mountainside metropolis” and Butte “a city of bygone boom, humble and honest, haunted by forgotten fortunes and ghosts of the mine.”
After the article, Hays said, people from Butte and throughout Montana began watching the video — which now boasts almost 5,000 page views — and the singer-songwriter began to receive emails and Facebook messages from Butte residents expressing gratitude for the song.
“The feedback that I got and the social media messages and the emails — it was so utterly heartwarming,” said Hays. “It makes me understand why I do what I do.”
Hays — who boasts one full-length album and two extended-play albums, both of which are self-published, and a rock band called Caliche — also has a song devoted to the Gem State, “O’ Montana,” which is featured on her extended-play album by the same name.
When one listens to Hays’ music — which she describes as “Americana,” drawing from folk, country and rock influences among others — it’s tempting to think the 35-year-old Austin resident has been performing all her life.
However, it wasn’t until Hays was 27 that the folk artist decided to pursue music professionally.