Showing posts with label Hayes Carll. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hayes Carll. Show all posts

May 15, 2019

Album Review / Hayes Carll / What It Is

by Travis Erwin
Hayes Carll has a newish album out, but before we dive deep to discover What It Is, actually is, let me address you potential rabble-rousers.
Yeah, I am a writing up a review for an album that dropped a few months back. That’s why I wrote “newish,” my friends. But here’s the deal, no artist has perfected the art of being a “Slacker Genius” better than Hayes Carll, and while I can’t lay claim to the genius half of that equation, I can say I’m a topnotch slacker. 
Besides, I wouldn’t exactly be embracing Carll’s lackadaisical vibe, if I just threw out a half-assed review after one or two listens. No, I had to wait and grow my hair out, don a flannel shirt and listen to What It Is three or four dozen times, because to write about Hayes Carll, you gotta be Hayes Carll.  
Bullshit you say? Yeah, Rolling Stone didn’t buy it when I pitched that angle to them either. 
All BS aside, I consider Hayes Carll a friend of mine. Not because we’ve ever sat down over beers, chased drunken Mona Lisa’s together, or so much as spoken a word, but rather because, for over a decade now, his writing and voice have kept me company through good times and bad. 
Carll writes songs that often as not feel like a casual conversation. Couple this songwriting tendency, with a voice that cracks, breaks, and is usually delivered with a calm chillness, and it’s easy to come away with the impression that Hayes somehow stumbled his way to brilliance. This assumption would be wrong. At this juncture in his career, it’s obvious his talent is no accident, and What It Is proves, Carll is far from slacking off.
“None’ya” kicks the album off with a sound any Carll fan will be familiar with. The give and take banter of a couple at a crossroads feels lighthearted, but for our beleaguered Romeo, that “None’ya” is anything but. At first listen this opening track seems like an outlier to the songs that follow, but as in music and life, things tend to circle back around.
The Shut-Up-and-Sing crowd might take offense to the lyrics of “Times Like These,” but they will do so while jitterbugging across the dance floor to a lively beat. Speaking of “Things You Don’t Wanna Know,” track three infuses some Motown rhythm to go along with Carll’s vocals while holding to a developing theme that carries through the first half of the album.


Riding a thumping rockabilly beat that harkens to Johnny Cash, “If I May Be So Bold” joins the two previous tracks to draw a line in the sand. The statements continue to come in “Jesus and Elvis,” as Carll lays out the emotional impact of political decisions. This is not to say the album is preachy in any way.  No, like the two influential men in the title of track five, Carll delivers his thoughts in a manner that suggest better ways, rather than demanding them.  
Music is most often digested in bite-sized chunks these days, so the art of album construction is rarely on full display. But the first half of this album closes with “American Dream,” which shines a light on the thoughts that went into overall song placement. This track is the perfect closure to a grouping of songs that makes it clear Carll has something to say about the state of the American Dream.
The back half of the album ushers in a section of three relationship songs. That is the extent of commonality within the trio. Slow, melodic chords accompany the anxious despair of knowing a relationship won’t last in “Be There,” while “Beautiful Thing” rides a piano-charged romp about the euphoria of newfound love and lust. The album’s namesake, “What It Is,” brings a bluegrass sound to the collection and leaves us with many things to ponder.
Unlike the political tones earlier in the album, the next couple of songs are more about universal human rights, than they are about political divide. Exploring the tendencies of human nature, Carll deploys a sharp taunting melody, and pointed lyrics within “Fragile Men,” to slice through chauvinistic ideals. Taken alone that track could come across as judgmental, but when followed by “Wild Pointy Finger” it seems like Carll is looking at himself as well. This next to last track sounds a suspicious lot like “I Got a Gig” from his 2008 release and when you listen to both tunes you can only assume this was intentional, as a way to highlight the change in his own ideas and ideals over the last decade. Both in society and in himself.
The album closes with “I Will Stay,” bringing the twelve songs full circle. The first track gives us a lover walking out the door, while this last track offers a beautiful ballad of perseverance. And no, that is no accident.  

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Travis Erwin is Texas boy now living the life of a free-spirited writer in sunny Southern California. A long time music blogger and sports writer, Travis is the author of a comedic memoir titled, THE FEEDSTORE CHRONICLES, a pair of novels, TWiSTED ROADS and WAITING ON THE RIVER, and his latest release is a joint, short story/EP collective with songwriter Dan Johnson, titled HEMINGWAY. 

Dec 14, 2017

WWE Country Reaction Gifs 26

The pro wrestling equivalent of 
Bebe Rexha having the #1 Hot Country Song

I found some Cole Swindell songs on this refurbished 
laptop I bought. What should I do with them?

Hayes Carll, John Evans, and Corb Lund are 
putting out an album together in 2018 

"But evolution… you're just jealous… 
stop being so negative…"

"Why can't I listen to Dylan Scott's Christmas album?"

Still more interesting than a Lady Antebellum album:

What it feels like to hear Walker Hayes for the first time

Reading the YouTube comments under a Kane Brown video

Dec 7, 2016

Blue Christmas: A Farce the Music Sad Christmas Playlist

 
There's nothing like a sad Christmas song to mirror the dull, cold weather outside this time of year. Sure, Christmas is a joyous time of year, but not for everybody… and if you're like me, a little gray feels just right mixed in with the green and gold and red. The Spotify playlist is below.

Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas
Joni Mitchell – River
Hayes Carll – Grateful For Christmas
James Brown – Please Come Home For Christmas
Dolly Parton – Hard Candy Christmas
Marty Stuart – Even Santa Claus Gets The Blues
Tift Merritt – I'll Be Home For Christmas
Johnny Cash – Ringing the Bells for Jim
The O'Jays – Christmas Ain't Christmas, New Years Ain't New Years Without The One You Love
Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison – In The Bleak Midwinter
Sufjan Stevens – Did I Make You Cry On Christmas Day? (Well, You Deserved It!)
Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Bob Schneider – Fairytale of New York
John Denver – Please, Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)
Cat Power – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Willie Nelson – Christmas Blues
John Prine – Christmas In Prison
The Civil Wars – Tracks In the Snow
George Strait – What A Merry Christmas This Could Be
Kacey Musgraves – Present Without A Bow
Marvin Gaye – I Want To Come Home For Christmas
Corb Lund – Just Me and These Ponies (For Christmas This Year)
Jimmy Witherspoon - How I Hate to See Christmas Come Around
Asleep at the Wheel - Christmas in Jail

Feb 12, 2016

Hayes Carll Performs His New Single

Here's Hayes Carll with "The Love That We Need" from his forthcoming album Lovers and Leavers.

Mar 21, 2014

Album Review: Tyler McCumber Band - Saracene Sessions: Tape 1


Tyler McCumber Band - Saracene Sessions: Tape 1

By Kelcy Salisbury

I just got a copy of the new Tyler McCumber Band album, Saracene Sessions: Tape 1. This is the first release I've heard from McCumber since Catch Me several years back. 

Now to be fair, I would consider Tyler a friend although I've yet to meet him in person, so let me give a brief review of my impressions of Catch Me to put my thoughts of it in perspective to my feelings about this new release. 

Catch Me had moments that hinted at talent and a well honed musicianship that seemed like there was SOMETHING there. What it was was difficult to pin down. Was McCumber a Kevin Fowler-esque slightly hackneyed self of "White Trash Farm" or was he the Randy Rogers type "Music Man" with a dash of Wade Bowen on "Hollis, OK" or was he the he the Hayes Carll type of "Uncle Sams Gun?" There were a lot of approaches but none seemed completely his OWN. 

On Saracene Sessions: Tape 1, the total opposite is true & it's the best possible thing that could have happened. 

Tyler refers to his music as "Rural Rock" and it truly is. Yes, it will hopefully and deservedly get airplay on TX Country radio. But it's not Texas country. It's no more country than Cross Canadian Ragweed in their Red Dirt heyday or Ray Wylie Hubbard at his greasiest. 

This is the record The Tyler McCumber band had in them all along & I had my doubts until this week. McCumber isn't blessed with the greatest pipes in this business. His band isn't the musical titan of the scene (they are no slouches by any means either). 

The record is the purest combination of storytelling songwriting, musicianship and production that I've heard all year. It may be the most perfect I've heard in 5 years. 

I can't say the record grabbed me at first listen. I was preoccupied with family matters and listened to it only as background music. When I finally had the chance to pay attention tonight and really listen to it a couple of times through: HOLY BARKING SPIDERS BATMAN!

I can't really describe the album but to say that you can hear influences of many artists though it owes much more to ZZ Top than any traditional country influence. That is to say, it is funky, full of soul, garnished with blues elements, just country enough to garner country airplay and dripping with songwriting that tells of stories you can't disbelieve. 

It's Texas music beyond a doubt, but the regional references aren't the clich├ęs. There are dark stories aplenty but there is a message of positivity lying beneath the surface. This is a rare skill & one just being honed on Catch Me.  There is nothing trite or hackneyed on this album. 

"Whisky Shots & Stitches" is an early contender for Song Of The Year. 

There is no doubting the stories McCumber tells & there is no question in the listener's mind that they are hearing the truth. 

His voice fits the material perfectly and the production, while not perfect is just right for the music, if that makes any kind of sense. 

The "political" songs "Don't Blame The Gun" & "Roughneck" ring of Charlie Daniels and Jason Boland, respectively, but the sound is all his own. 

I don't know that I've heard a band or a songwriter grow this much between two albums any time in a decade or more and that's a huge part of my opinion. Tyler McCumber is a GREAT songwriter. Javi Garcia once told me so [Editor's Note: NAMEDROPPER!], but based in Catch Me I had my doubts. Those are erased. 

Early contender for album of the year? Absolutely. Check Tyler OUT on Facebook or search www.lonestarmusic.com for copies. itunes soon I hope. This deserves to be heard. 

This is an album I hope my daughter appreciates in 20 years. Granted, that may sound like hype, but it's the highest praise I can give an album of such great songwriting & Saracene Sessions: Tape 1 is deserving of all that. 

------------------------------------

Saracene Sessions: Tape 1 is available for preview/purchase at CD Baby and Amazon.

Dec 3, 2013

New Video: Hard Working Americans - Stomp and Holler

With their cover of Hayes Carll's "Stomp and Holler," here's Hard Working Americans, the new Americana supergroup featuring Todd Snider, Neal Casal, Duane Trucks and Chad Staehly.

Feb 19, 2013

Larry Lee the Primitive Baptist Reviews: Corb Lund - Bible on the Dash


Corb Lund (featuring Hayes Carll) - Bible on the Dash
(listen at this link)

This song is about using the Holy Word as a smoke screen to throw cops off the trail of any illicit behavior by sinful musicians touring the south. I am so turned off by this vulgar premise, I can hardly listen to the song.

I assume Mr. Lund and Mr. Carll were partaking of the devil's vine and suckling at the devil's teat before proceeding on their hell-ride from town to town, proselytizing to the trucker cap and pearl-snap shirt wearing masses. Being the enlightened liberal sort, they assumed it was okay for them to disregard some local trivialities such as red lights and speed limits. Being from the' open-minded' great white north and the self-important state of Texas, these two are already high on themselves, so it must have made for quite the ego trip.

When the yocal sheriff or deputy dared to approach their sin-chariot, one of these two jackwads made sure to slap a stolen Gideon Bible on the dash like some handicap placard in a Walmart parking lot. For shame. The Word is not a shield for iniquities. It is a sword against the same.

I feel bad for these enforcement officers, unwise to the worldliness of these jaded Americana purveyors. I feel worse for the souls of Carll and Lund. Each time they performed this ruse, ol' Satan himself turned up the temperature of their future holding cells a few degrees, laughing through his fearsome teeth all the while.

If I hear of either of these vile artists putting on a show in my state (probably in the wretched sin-den of Oxford), I will alert local authorities to their scam. Perhaps you should overlook the cheap, unruffled pages of the Holy tome and use the good sense the Lord gave you. If it smells like the mary jane, and drives like an idiot on COPS and bears the reddened eyes of a pot junky, perhaps this is not the touring van of a Christian artist. No sir, these fellows are spreading evil and should be brought to justice.

"Bible on the Dash" is not so much a song as it is encouragement for other wayward singers to use the same dastardly fraud to get away with their crimes against decency and God. Corb and Hayes, fall upon your knees and beg Him to set your path toward righteousness.

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