Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Hayes Carll will be in concert at the world class Texan Theater in Greenville at 7 p.m. Friday, March 3.
The good-time-loving Carll released his debut album, “Flowers & Liquor,” in 2002, the same year he was voted Best New Act by the Houston Press. He’s had honky-tonk hits with songs like “Drunken Poet’s Dream,” “Stomp and Holler” and “One Bed, Two Girls and Three Bottles of Wine.”
His songs draw comparison to some of Texas’ best, including Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt.
His “KMAG YOYO” was voted best album of 2011 by the Americana Music Association.
After a split from his record label and his wife, Carll released “Lovers and Leavers” in April 2016.
With this record, Carll’s left his frat-boy, “stomp and holler” songs behind, which made him a bit uncomfortable.
“It was challenging to make a record that didn’t have any of the usual bells and whistles to fall back on,” he said in an email interview.
The promotional material on his website says, “I didn’t worry about checking boxes, making sure there was something here for everybody, or getting on the radio. I just took some much needed deep breaths and let them out on tape.”
The new record can stand with anything released by Van Zandt, Clark or Lyle Lovett. “For The Sake Of The Song” is a tip of the hat to Van Zandt.
If you’re nobody’s business
Or front page news
Rock, country or Delta blues
Tell your truth however you choose
And do it all for the sake of the song.
Of Van Zandt, Carll says, “Townes changed everything for me in a very profound way. I really respected Guy [Clark] as a poet, a craftsmen, and as a mentor, but I think Townes was a once-in-a- generation type of talent. He wrote with a depth, pain and beauty that is just unparalleled.”
No album recorded by a Texas singer/songwriter is complete without a song about the road.
“Drive” pays homage to fellow troubadours, truck drivers, salesmen and anyone who makes their living away from home.
Love – lost and found – plays a big role on the new record.
“Good While It Lasted” looks back at a lost relationship. It’s wise and just a little on the sad side.
The simple waltz “You Leave Alone” contains an important message about choices of the heart.
In “The Love That We Need,” the 41-year-old realizes he had every thing he ever wanted, but it was all nothing without love.
Carll is now dating Allison Moorer, the ex-wife of fellow Texas songwriter Steve Earle. Funny how things work out. She’s also a singer/songwriter, so she understands the lifestyle. Here’s hoping they find happiness. She shares co-writing credit on “The Love That We Need,” along with Jack Ingram.
I’d like to think he had Moorer in mind when he wrote “Love Is Easy,” a light, breezy tune that feels like it was written at the beginning of something new and wonderful.
Lookout, Babe, now the night is so fine
Hold your heart up against the skyline
I’ve always had a hurt that I can’t tame
But it all feels better when you say my name
“Love Don’t Let Me Down,” the first song written for this album, is an anthem of hope. Sounds like he’s ready to try again, and this time, he’s going to stay put.
Under the sun, there ain’t nothing new
There’s lovers and leavers
And moments forgotten and dreams that don’t ever come true.
Even though I’m afraid
I’m going to stand my ground
If it’s not asking too much
Love, don’t let me down.
“The Magic Kid,” a tune co-written with Darrell Scott, is a love letter to Eli, Carll’s 12-year-old son.
Carll enjoys writing with Scott “because it never feels forced. Everything comes out of a conversation and ultimately feels very organic.”
While “there is no guidebook” for being a good dad, Carll does his best to get it right.
“I just make sure he knows I love him, that he’s not going to get away with any bs and I try to make the most of the time we do have together,” the single dad said. “One of the advantages to my job is that there are some great adventures to be had and I can bring him along to see the world.”
If there is a “hoot and holler” tune on this record, it’s “My Friends,” but it’s not nearly as rowdy as past buddy songs and feels more like a thank you than a last call.
My friends pick me up when I try to fall down
My friends, they make up for all my lost ground
My friends, they’ve seen every side of me.
Along with touring, Carll streams a monthly show from The Saxon Pub in Austin on his Facebook page.
“I have a guest that I talk to and I play music with my band,” he said in our email exchange.
This month, he swapped tunes with Ray Wylie Hubbard.
“It’s a cool way to reach a whole lot of people at once without the travel,” he added. “A lot of folks that might not have the opportunity to see a show can tune in every month and catch the show.”
Carll is also recording and releasing a song every month on a site called Patreon.
“It gives fans that support me the chance to hear music first and have access to a lot of other perks, and it gives me the ability to create and release music much more consistently. “
For more on Hayes Carll, visit his website, hayescarll.com or follow him on Facebook.
Tickets to the March 3 concert at The Texan Theater are $150 and include parking, pre-dinner cocktails, a four-course gourmet meal, the show and all gratuities.
The Texan is a complete theater experience. The service is top notch. Manager Lana Barker Dollenger and her staff go above and beyond to ensure every guest receives VIP treatment.
From the Texan’s website:
The Texan Theater, which dates back to the late 1800s as the King Opera House and had been dark since 1975, is now a fabulously versatile entertainment jewel that can host movie screenings, theater productions, live music and private functions.
Greenville native Barbara Horan bought the adjacent building extending the Texan Theater lobby into a sterling coffee shop that serves cups of java, tasty lunch specialties and sweet delights to downtown workers and guests.
Upcoming concerts include Tanya Tucker (Feb. 24), Lee Roy Parnell (March 5) and John Conlee (March 8), among others.
For tickets or show information, call 903-259-6360 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.