From the land down under to Idaho: Colin Hay to play Sun Valley (Idaho Mountain Express)

by Colin Hay, August 29, 2011



Colin Hay, lead vocalist for the megaband Men at Work, will bring his unique troubadour-style solo show to Sun Valley on Sunday, Sept. 18, for a concert sponsored by The Sun Valley Center for the Arts.

“Some people will recognize the name, more people will recognize the distinctive voice, but if you haven’t been to one of his solo shows you’re in for a surprise,” said Kristine Bretall, The Center’s director of marketing and performing arts. “His live solo concerts are a mixture of classic and new songs interspersed with hilarious-and occasionally poignant-anecdotes drawn from his own unbelievable life over the past three decades.”

Born in Scotland, Hay moved with his family to Australia when he was in his teens. He teamed up with guitarist Ron Strykert in 1978 and eventually the duo added Jerry Speiser (drums), John Rees (bass) and Greg Ham (flute, saxophone) to form the band Men at Work. Released in 1981, the band’s debut album, Business as Usual, featured the No. 1 hit single “Down Under” and rocketed to  No. 1 album status in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

After several more No. 1 hits and a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1983, the band broke up in the mid-1980s. Although Hay could have easily rested on his laurels, he moved to California and launched a solo career. His newest album, American Sunshine, is a paean to his adopted home that recognizes both the glory and the heartbreak of the “California dream.”

His acoustic solo shows, during which he accompanies himself on guitar, have been attracting a steadily growing audience over the years.

“I’ve been doing these solo tours for a number of years,” he said, “going back to the same places and building audiences by doing the best shows I can. Judging from the last round, it seems to be building to a critical mass.”

Hay will perform on at 7 p.m. at the Sun Valley Opera House. Tickets are $20 for Sun Valley Center members and $25 for nonmembers. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 208-726-9491 ext. 10 or at The Center in Ketchum.

Please note that Colin Hay’s show contains adult language and material that may not be suitable for all ages or audience members.

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