“It’s a pleasure to play with her,” said drummer Cliff Goodman of Salem, who has been with the Daily Planets for less than a year. “No one has the range of Lois. She can go pretty low and high, and her inflections — it takes a lot of experience to know when to end the voice, when to bend it and come up, all that stuff.”
Hayes performed at Sandy’s, the famous jazz club on Cabot Street in Beverly, when she was only 16.
“I remember one time Phil Wilson introduced me,” she said.
Wilson, a trombone player, played with Woody Herman’s band and the Dorsey brothers, in addition to teaching at Berklee College of Music.
“He said, ‘This is the next Billie Holiday,’” Hayes said. “I couldn’t believe he said that. I sang ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and I cried at the end of it, and the place went nuts.”
Hayes studied for a year at Berklee College of Music and spent three years performing in London, which had a laid-back music scene that she enjoyed.
She has also had plenty of satisfied listeners in Boston, appearing as a regular with Little Joe Cook at the Cantab Lounge in Central Square for 25 years.
In addition to Goodman, the Daily Planets’ current lineup includes bassist Lee Lundy, whom Hayes compares to James Jamerson, the legendary bass player on dozens of Motown hits in the 1960s and ’70s.
“He was the sound,” she said. “This is him reincarnated.”
Goodman also has high praise for Peter Fedele of Rockport, the Daily Planets’ guitar player.
“He can play notes I can’t even understand,” he said, “I don’t know how he does it.”
In addition to admiring the band members’ musicianship, Hayes also enjoys their company, which she said gives their shows a positive atmosphere.