dwayne haggins - bio
He’s been described as “the love child of Hank Williams and Otis Redding.” “The John Legend of rockabilly.” And even, “the ‘what-took-you-so-long?’ fusion of Elvis Presley and Marvin Gaye.” At every performance, whether in a venerable metropolitan concert hall or a grimy dive in an anonymous strip mall, Dwayne Haggins is always at work. Adding new subtleties to an obvious melody line. Reinterpreting a time-worn lyrical cliché to imbue it anew with genuine feeling. Unleashing a gentle cascade of vocal acrobatics when least expected (and hence most effective) — never for show alone, but always to express a likewise unanticipated nuance of feeling: a whisper of love, a curse of anger, a groan of pain, a whoop of joy that feels, paradoxically, both surprising and inevitable at the same moment.
Dwayne Haggins grew up in many places, but when he talks of "home" these days, he means Framingham, Massachusetts.
Since early 2017, Dwayne has been on a quest to make a living playing music, leaving his mark on dozens of bars, restaurants and clubs scattered across eastern and central Massachusetts. His distinctive sound, which delivers a brand new take on the traditional country-blues and soul that he loves, has generated a rare sense of excitement and possibility throughout the area's musical community.
Likewise, the exponential growth of his devoted audience likely signals that a move to larger venues is inevitable, and perhaps imminent. Which is no doubt one reason why Dwayne's recent shows in local venues have taken on a new intensity, a sense of immense potential chafing at the limits of its current constraints. These days, each performance feels like a special occasion, a chance perhaps to experience the end of the beginning, the last page of prologue to a brand new story that already has the makings of a modern classic.
Though always a lover of music and an appreciative listener, Dwayne himself didn't pick up a guitar until age 18. One evening he happened to turn on the Conan O'Brien show just in time to see Sturgill Simpson, a beacon of integrity in modern country music, perform his song "Living The Dream." Thanks to that well-timed moment of inspiration, the guitar soon became Dwayne's constant companion. By age 20 he was writing his own songs, and was well on the way to finding his own voice to sing them.