ALLEN – Fans of the country band Halfway To Hazard had the opportunity to see them perform in an intimate concert at Season Inn on Friday night. The band, formed by childhood friends David Tolliver and Chad Warrix, parted ways in 2009 leaving H2H fans fearing they may never get another chance to see the band perform. The duo who wrote the scandal-singed single, “American Outlaw” recently released a new music video recounting the life of one of Kentucky’s most feared outlaws of the 1800s “Bad Tom Smith”. The song is off of their currently being recorded new album, which is the first since the bands split in 2009. 2016 Redemption Tour is accurately named as the bandmates feel this tour is their saving grace. Their chance to show their fans who they are and they intend to stick around.
“We took some time off for what we call “the dark year” to focus on some other things and we felt we had to get back to the basics.” Said Tolliver “We chose to go out to smaller venues because we wanted the opportunity to connect with the fans.”
You may think the duo were originally from Hazard and possibly old friends. The truth however is Warrix and Tolliver were raised with about 50 miles and Hazard between them. Halfway to Hazard are the opening words of “Cold,” the first song they wrote together several years after each had put Kentucky in their rear view mirror and ended up in Nashville.
The duo are not only talented musicians, but they also have hilarious personalities. Warrix recounted memories of coming to Martin to ride ATV’s and dirt bikes as a young boy, while Tolliver said he scored his first points ever in a basketball game against the Martin Purple Flash. Both guys have a genuine love for the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and continue to do charity work for the youth in the area.
The Halfway to Hazard Charity Trail Ride and Concert was first held in September 2008. The event raised over $100,000 for the Buckhorn Children’s Center and Family Services and was attended by over 11,000 people. The duo have been eager to help their home state when needed and have helped organize events all over the state of Kentucky, Including the East Kentucky Flood Relief Telethon and the East Kentucky Tornado Relief Telethon. The duo has raised over $1 million dollars that they have donated to charities such as the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, Trooper Island Camp and the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky. Staying true to their musical roots, they’ve also donated a variety of musical and band instruments to schools in Rockcastle County, Breathitt County, Estill County and Wolfe County and have allocated funds to be used for music scholarships at various Eastern Kentucky schools.
“We’re proud of our roots and feel very blessed to be in a position to help our fellow Kentuckians,” said the due. “It is an amazing feeling being able to help people while doing what you love.”
Both men credit their families as being part of what inspired them to pursue their dream of being Country Music singers. Although they prefer to keep their personal lives private, both Warrix and Tolliver say the hardest thing about their job is being away from family.
“When you have children, they are out of school in the summer and that is typically our busiest time of year,” said Warrix. “It can get very difficult being away from family so often and missing things you want to be a part of. We try to remember what we are doing is a job and we are going to work to support our family.”
If you missed Halfway to Hazard perform at Seasons Inn, they will be back in Kentucky on May 14 to perform at Baxter’s 942 in Louisville, June 14 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, August 12 at Tin Roof in Lexington, August 13 at the Hazard Rotary Gala in Hazard and August 20 at Magoffin Community Day in Salyersville.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at 606/886-8506.