OFFSTAGE: Hunter Hayes Has a Moment With Joe Walsh at CMT Crossroads

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Hunter Hayes was nervous as heck. That’s what he told me, and actually, it’s what he told Joe Walsh, too. When I talked to Hayes recently, he talked about what it was like to meet Walsh when they were rehearsing for the new episode of CMT Crossroads. “What was so cool was, when I met him, I walk up, I shake his hand, and he said, ‘Nice to meet you. You all right? You look nervous,’” Hayes recalled. “I said, ‘I’m nervous as heck.’ Then he said, ‘Don’t be. Enjoy it. Do whatever you want.’ Which is so cool, ’cause it’s Joe Walsh, you know?” As they were getting ready to tape their performance of Walsh’s 1979 hit with the Eagles, “In the City,” Hayes described the chemistry between them. “We had this nice moment. You could just see it. I was nervous going into the taping, but there was something that happened right at the beginning of the song. He just looked at me, and then I was like, ‘Yeah, we’re now just two musicians playing music.’ And I didn’t feel worthy of that feeling, but he made me feel good.” CMT Crossroads: Joe Walsh & Friends premieres Saturday (June 23) at 11 p.m. ET/PT with Hayes, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Luke Bryan and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.