Wildly literate, utterly slackerly, impossibly romantic, absolutely a slave to the music, the 35-year old Texan, Hayes Carll, is unafraid to skewer pomposity, hypocrisy and small-minded thinking. Letting reality do the work has sure worked for the lanky Texan who walks slow and talks slower. Born in Houston, he went to college at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas – earning a degree in History, then heading back to Crystal Beach to play for a wild assortment of people either hiding out, hanging on or getting lost in the bars along Texas’ Gulf coast.
After releasing Flowers & Liquor in 2002, Carll was voted the Best New Artist of 2002 by The Houston Post. He would go on to release Little Rock, on his own Highway 87 label, which became the first self-owned project to the top the Americana charts. Next he released Trouble in Mind yielded the tongue firmly in cheek “She Left Me For Jesus,” which was the 2008 Americana Music Awards Song of the Year. Then in 2011, “Another Like You,” Carll’s stereotype’s attract duet of polar opposites, was American Songwriter’s #1 Song of 2011, and KMAG YOYO was the Americana Music Association’s #1 Album, as well as making Best of Lists for Rolling Stone, SPIN and a New York Times Critics Choice. He has also been featured performing on television programs Austin City Limits and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
But more importantly than the critical acclaim is the way Carll connects with music lovers across genres lines. Playing rock clubs and honkytonks, Bonnaroo, Stones Fest, SXSW and NXNE, he and his band the Gulf Coast Orchestra merge a truculent singer/songwriter take that combines Ray Wylie Hubband’s lean freewheeling squalor with Todd Snider’s brazen
Gen Y reality and a healthy dose of love amongst unhealthy people.
Thick-headed. Avaricious. Squalid. Hungry. Angry. Getting by.