The Bad Hats are Ready for a Different Year

The Bad Hats are a contemporary folk band based in Nashville, but they're unlike most folk bands you'll hear around town. Though they started in Evansville, Indiana, the band has carved out their own piece of the south through rigorous touring and their increasingly creative ideas.

The band has set out to make 2020 their biggest year yet, and to spur things along, they launched a crowfunding campaign that wraps up this month. The campaign, which wraps up today, is unlike most crowdfunding campaigns: The Bad Hats have promised to donate a portion of their funds (no matter the final total) to Room In The Inn. We had a chance to speak to Benny Jenkins, the band's frontman, about The Bad Hat's campaign and plans for the year.

M: Well Benny, it’s been a minute since we’ve caught up. We’ve been trying to grab a beer together for what feels like ages. Why don’t you fill me in on what’s new?

B: There are some very exciting things happening with The Bad Hats. We just finished recording our first professionally recorded and produced EP, This Time, It’s Different. We have been working with Andy Wildrick at Wildrick Studios and it’s been a blast to work on. We are releasing it on all platforms on April 1st. We have plans to tour this spring, but nothing has been officially announced yet.To support the release, we are running and crowdfunding campaign and giving a portion of the every dollar raised to Room in the Inn here in Nashville who helps provide solutions to the ongoing challenge of homelessness in Nashville. The campaign ends on February 29th and has so far secured enough money for us to finish recording and promote the release. To thank our incredible fans for their support, we're releasing a cover of "Jolene" we tracked at SAE Institute. It should give people a bit of an idea where the band is headed.

Sounds like you’re busy — as always. You mentioned that the band is wrapping up your crowdfunding campaign this month. Can you tell our readers about it?

The crowdfunding is important, because we needed the money to pay for recording, which is very expensive, and also to support the release of the EP.

What I love about this campaign is that you’ve chosen to benefit Room In The Inn, too. How do you hope to impact Nashville’s community by benefitting them?

We have supported them with live music in their cafe, and it’s always amazing to interact with the guests there. We have seen their amazing programs first-hand and want to give whatever we can to keep those programs going. Our gift is a drop in the bucket compared to what their needs are, but we wanted to be involved with them in any way we can.

Your crowdfunding campaign mentions a tour, but it also says the details are under wraps. Can you give us a hint about what to expect this year?

We’re excited to get back on the road and see all of our friends. All I can say officially about the tour is that the shows are bigger, the bands that we’re playing with are all incredible, and we will be making new friends in places that we’ve never been before. All in all, we’re very excited to say the least.

Let’s switch gears a bit. You just released a cover of “Jolene.” Why did you guys choose to cover this song?

This song has always been a favorite of ours. Living in Nashville, it’s hard not to be a fan of Dolly Parton. When I was younger, I played this song a lot as a fan favorite, and I’m extremely satisfied with how we captured that cover with our band here in Nashville. We recorded it as a lesson for the production students at SAE. We came in and live tracked in their studio all day with two completely different classes to give them practice working with recording bands. It was a super fun process, and we’re grateful for them having us in the studio.

Do you have any other music coming soon?

The EP will be out on April 1st. It should hold our fans over for a while.

What else can we look forward to this year?

I can’t say too much other than that we are eager to spend as much time creating music in the studio for our fans, and hitting the road to come and see them wherever they’re at. We have a couple of releases planned for this year as well as plenty of time on the road scheduled. What I do know for sure, is that fans can expect a lot more from us this year as we continue to chase a better sound and a more impactful story.

Is there anything else we should know?

Only time will tell what the future has in store for our little band. Whatever happens, it’s always a blast to play music with your very best friends and chase your dreams with them.

If you'd like to contribute to The Bad Hat's campaign before the day is over, you can do so here. You can also check out "Jolene" below:

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