Favorite

Hayes Carll, ‘Trouble in Mind’ 

Lost Highway

0814hayes_image.jpg

Hayes Carll is coming for you, young rock fans. He will make a country music believer out of you. He'll have none of this namby-pamby, softly-strummed, lightly twang-tinged, big city “alt-country” stuff, either. Don't let his history degree from Hendrix College fool you, this is the real thing — songs about heartache, drinking whiskey and smoking dope. These are country tunes for people who hate country, where the steel guitars aren't poured on like syrup, and the lyrics aren't scrubbed clean for Bible Belt consumers. As part of a Texas tradition of iconoclastic songwriters like Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett, Carll never plays it safe. On his third CD, “Trouble in Mind,” he continues to deliver the hard-rocking, hard-complaining goods.

True to form, Carll invaded Nashville to make the record and, rather than hire a bigwig country producer, opted instead for power pop legend Brad Jones to helm the project. The result is an album that gleams with sharp, rustic tones and balanced sense of space.

“Arkansas, my head hurts,” Carll nods to us as he opens “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart,” which sounds like a fairly generic country anthem before its third verse, wherein Carll delivers a solid political punch: “Doesn't anyone care about truth anymore? / Maybe that's what songs are for.”

One of his songs may even cause him a little public relations ruckus: “She Left Me for Jesus,” which Don Imus has already hailed as “The Greatest Country Song Ever Written.” It stops just shy of parody, but no doubt there are reactionaries lying in wait who'll demand his head for the line “If I ever find Jesus / I'm kicking his ass.”

Whether channeling John Prine's light touch and sense of humor on tunes like “Girl Downtown,” covering Tom Waits' “I Don't Wanna Grow Up” or hollering like a young Bob Dylan on “A Lover Like You,” Carll's voice cracks in all the right places. He's got the country music chemistry down pat, as well he should after four years of playing six nights a week in south Texas. Just you wait, rock 'n' roll kids. He'll pour whiskey down your gullet and you'll thank him for it.

 

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Colter McCorkindale

  • In Memoriam: Hugh Ashley, 1915-2008

    In 1930, a twin-engine Fokker plane was flying low over the wide green valley of Wiley’s Cove, just north of Leslie, Ark.
    • Nov 20, 2008
  • Damn Bullets

    “Electric Folk Boogie” (self-released)
    • Nov 20, 2008
  • Isaac Alexander

    ‘See Thru Me’ Max Recordings
    • Aug 14, 2008
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in Music Reviews

  • Cher in North Little Rock

    March 28, Verizon Arena
    • Apr 3, 2014
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers at Verizon

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers took a slightly different musical path to its May induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame than most of their fellow honorees.
    • Oct 31, 2012
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Sept. 30

    The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra opened its season Saturday night with a return visit by the 28-year-old violin virtuoso Augustin Hadelich, who had appeared with the orchestra in the Beethoven concerto two years ago.
    • Oct 3, 2012
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation