Although singing was a great love of hers, it seemed acting was more of a calling throughout school. In 1987, Erin entered the Fountain Valley Jr. Miss Pageant and won the Performing Arts Award for performing a comedic monologue from Lily Tomlin's one woman show, "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe." Erin had plans of attending UCLA as a Theatre Arts major. She had aspirations of following in the footsteps of her two other idols, Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett. This, of course, never happened. While attending college in California, Erin realized she did not take the acting craft as seriously as everyone else did. What she did take seriously was her music. Erin knew in her heart that Nashville was where she wanted to be. The real turning point came after a visit backstage at the Grand Ole Opry and a meeting with Mr. Roy Acuff. That was the environment she longed for. She wanted to sing on that stage and knew she had some dues to pay.
Erin moved to Nashville in 1991 with her mother to attend Belmont University as a Music Business major. Since the move, she has interned at RCA Records and Sony Music, recorded many demos for Nashville songwriters and performed at many Nashville clubs. Erin recorded her first independent album in 1992 with the help of producer and songwriter, Lonnie Ratliff. It was a cassette tape compiled mostly of demo recordings and included a song called "Somebody's Angel," which she recently re-recorded. Erin graduated from Belmont in 1995 and was hired by a film production company in Nashville, working with such artists as Garth Brooks, Faith Hill and Janet Jackson in the behind the scenes aspects of live concert TV production and music videos for almost 7 years, but Erin's first love is still her music. She completed her second independent album, Honky Tonk Heaven, in October of 2000. It received great reviews around the world and was a #6 import CD in the UK in April of 2000. Erin released her third independent album, The Circle, in 2001-fourteen cuts of the music she loves, music she hopes would have made Mr. Acuff proud. She is proud to have two duets on that album with Grand Ole Opry stars Ernie Ashworth ("Gotta Travel On") and Jack Greene ( Tommy Collins' song, "High On A Hilltop.") Erin is also very proud of the liner note her idol, Loretta Lynn, graced her with for the project-"Erin is a great singer. Maybe the Opry will find that out someday. I love her singing." This album became a #3 import CD in the UK in February 2002. She has just released her fourth independent album titled Somebody's Angel and is hoping it will be as well received as the others. One of the singles off the album, a song written by Bill Jackson called "The Tree," has already given Erin her biggest overseas chart success to date. A great start for a true Country album!
Erin has also enjoyed a lot of success on mp3.com, a website devoted to independent artists, and has obtained a wide following in the European/overseas market (largely due to the mp3.com exposure,) being dubbed the "New Queen of the Honky Tonk Angels." Erin's song, "I Got the Blues Again," is one of the most downloaded Country songs to date on mp3.com, and it was featured in the Robert Altman/Alan Rudolph film, Trixie, in 2000. She is very grateful to the people of mp3.com and to the overseas and US disc jockeys playing her music. Erin is definitely having fun on her road to the Grand Ole Opry, and if she is destined to sing on that great stage some day, it will be the pinnacle in her singing career not just a stepping stone.
"When it's too Country for everyone else, it's JUST RIGHT for me!" - Erin Hay
Country Music People Magazine....March 2001....Erin Hay-Honky Tonk Heaven....Review by: Craig Baguley***4 1/2 stars***.....It's an apt title, for sure. If you like dyed-in-the-wool honky tonk, plastered with sizzling steel and fiddle, you'll love this. With a touch of Connie Smith in her vocals, Erin Hay proves she's right at home in the world of shuffles, twosteps and barroom ballads. California-born, Erin's been in Nashville a few years now - she cut her first album, Somebody's Angel, way back in 1992 - but her obvious dedication to hardcore country music, shining through on her bright, glowing vocals, probably doesn't gain her any favors on Music Row. The choice of material is well thought out, from classic songs like "There Goes My Everything" and Loretta's "Honky Tonk Girl" to lesser-known gems such as Skip Ewing and Max D. Barnes' achingly beautiful "Autumn's Not That Cold." The production and playing exhibit a spirit that you rarely find on major label projects these days where ProTools, sampling and technical accuracy take precedence over feel - not that a simple country album like this would be considered by heavyweight label in Music City. I loved the kickoff cut, "You're A Lesson I've Already Learned," with its extended fiddle intro. I loved the animated two-step, "Bad Luck." I loved the torchy Patsy Cline-ish "I Got The Blues Again." I loved the midtempo shuffle "If The Phone Don't Ring." I loved the slow, self-exploratory "Mirror Mirror (On The Wall)." Darn it, I just loved everything on this album. At every listen, the star rating goes up and up, so I think I'd better stop here. It's not world-beating. It's not making history. It's not breaking new ground. It's just REAL country music.
Check out the artist's website:
1. You're A Lesson I've Already Learned
2. There Goes My Everything
3. Bad Luck
4. Honky Tonk Heaven
5. Poison Of Your Kiss
6. I Got The Blues Again
7. Alone With You
8. Honky Tonk Girl
9. Autumn's Not That Cold
10. My Hands Are Full
11. If The Phone Don't Ring
12. Mirror! Mirror! (On The Wall)
13. Cheater's Moon
14. Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad