Ward Hayden and The Outliers

Ward Hayden and the Outliers, formerly known as Girls, Guns and Glory (GGG), is a band from Boston, Massachusetts. They currently release music independently but formerly had signed with Lonesome Day Records and released albums with Sony RED, MRI and Dry Lightning Records in the US, as well as through Proper in the UK and Rough Trade in Europe. Their music is a mix of old school country, early rock 'n' roll, blues, and country rock. Inspiration is taken from Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Johnny Horton classics. Ward Hayden and the Outliers has garnered seven Boston Music Awards (BMA). They were the 2011 winner of the BMA for "Americana Artist of the Year", and were nominated in the "Live Artist of the Year" category. They were also the 2019 winner of the BMA for "Country Artist of the Year". The band is popular throughout Europe and Scandinavia and has toured there for several years. Their 2016 album Love and Protest was a top 5 album in Norway and peaked at #1 on the Norway country album charts.

Ward Hayden and the Outliers
Also known asGirls, Guns and Glory (2005–2018)
OriginBoston, Massachusetts
Years active2005–present
  • independent (currently)
  • Lonesome Day Records (2005-2014)
  • Proper (2014)
  • Sony RED (2015)
  • MRI (2015)
  • Dry Lightning Records (2015)
Associated acts
  • Ward Hayden
  • Josh Kiggans
  • Cody Nilsen
  • Greg Hall
Past members
  • Colt Thompson
  • Bruce Beagley
  • John Graham
  • Colin Toomey
  • Brendan Murphy
  • Justin Maxwell
  • Michael Calabrese
  • Chris Hersch
  • Joe Keffler
  • Paul Dilley

The band has released seven studio albums and a live album.


The band was formed in 2005 by vocalist/rhythm guitarist Ward Hayden and bassist Bruce Beagley,[1] joined shortly afterward by lead guitarist Colt Thompson and drummer John Graham. By 2010, Hayden was the sole original member left in the band, with Boston-based guitarist Chris Hersch and bassist Paul Dilley joining. A second guitarist, Joe Keffler, also toured with the band in 2010.[2] By 2012, Josh Kiggans became the band's third drummer replacing Michael Calabrese, also of the Boston-based band Lake Street Dive. In 2014, Rolling Stone included the band in its list of the top 10 new country artists that fall.[3] Rolling Stone also reviewed the band's live Hank Williams tribute album.

Their third album, 2011's Sweet Nothings featured a collaboration (the song "1000 Times") with local Massachusetts alternative country musician Sarah Borges. In 2011, the band opened for Wanda Jackson.

In 2016, Hersch left the band and was replaced later that year by Cody Nilsen. Also in 2016, the band decided to release new music independently, beginning with the album Love and Protest. The album featured local Massachusetts sideman Duke Levine as guest lead guitarist because it was recorded between Hersch's departure and Nilsen's arrival. The band also featured a touring lead guitarist during this time. After Nilsen joined the band, they opened for NRBQ.

In 2018, the band dropped the name Girls, Guns and Glory because of the polarizing issue of gun control in the United States.[4] Also in 2018, the band opened for The Oak Ridge Boys, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Los Lobos and Dwight Yoakam.

Their seventh studio album, Can't Judge A Book, mostly featuring covers, some of which were re-imagined by the band, has recently been released. Also in 2019, the band opened for Midland.


Current membersEdit

  • Ward Hayden — lead vocals, rhythm guitar, double bass, drums (2005–present)
  • Josh Kiggans — drums, mandolin, percussion, piano, vocals (2012–present)
  • Cody Nilsen — vocals, lead guitar, pedal steel guitar, dobro, slide guitar, baritone guitar (2016–present)
  • Greg Hall – vocals, bass (2020-present)

Former MembersEdit

  • Bruce Beagley — bass guitar (2005-2008)
  • John Graham — drums (2005-2009)
  • Colin Toomey – lead guitar (2006)[5]
  • Brendan Murphy – percussion (2006)[6]
  • Colt Thompson — harmony and backing vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar (2007-2010)
  • Justin Maxwell — bass guitar, double bass (2009-2010)
  • Michael Calabrese — drums (2009-2012)
  • Chris Hersch — vocals, lead guitar, banjo (2010-2016)
  • Joe Keffler – rhythm guitar (2010)
  • Paul Dilley — vocals, bass guitar, double bass, lead guitar, piano, Mellotron, drums, mandolin (2010–2020)




  • Fireworks & Alcohol (2006)
  • Pretty Little Wrecking Ball (2007)
  • Inverted Valentine (2008)


Title Details Peak positions
AMA (US) NOR NOR Country
Sweet Nothings 18
Good Luck
  • Release date: January 28, 2014
  • Label: Lonesome Day Records, Proper (UK)
A Tribute to Hank Williams - Live!
  • Release date: February 2015
  • Label: Sony RED, MRI, Dry Lightning
Love and Protest
  • Release date: 2016
  • Label: Independently released
5 1
Can't Judge A Book
  • Release date: September 1, 2018 (limited release at concerts); 2019 (widespread release)
  • Label: Independently released
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


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