Saturday, January 23, 2010
Ever since he came through Denver as an opener for the Old 97s a couple of years ago, I've been anxiously awaiting Hayes Carll's return to Denver. Recently, I found out that he would be touring with Steve Earle and playing the the Boulder Theater in early February. While initially excited, I was a little bummed thinking about how expensive it would be to see Carll, as I would have to pay $35 or more just to see him open the show for Steve Earle. Not that I wouldn't want to see Steve Earle, but I've seen him in the last year, and don't really have much interest in paying that much to see him again so soon.
BUT, there's a happy ending to this story. As it turns out, during an off night on the tour, Hayes Carll will be playing his own show at the Walnut Room in Denver on February 3rd. As you might expect, this show will be much cheaper than the Boulder show, and hopefully he'll play a longer set than he's playing as Earle's opener.
Whether you prefer the show with or without Steve Earle, I can't recommend Hayes Carll highly enough. He has gone from a guy touring across the country by himself in his car to one of the more respected songwriters in Texas, all in the span of less than 10 years. Carll's 2008 Lost Highway Records debut Trouble In Mind stands as one of the albums that I still can't stop listening to. Having lost touch with his music for some time in the mid '00s, I happened to catch a free show of his at Stubbs in Austin a couple of years ago, and the song "Beaumont" brought me back to his music in an instant. Trouble stands as one of the strongest LPs released in the last 5 years, and if you've not heard it I highly recommend you check out the previously mentioned "Beaumont," as well as "Drunken Poet's Dream" and "It's a Shame." The album includes a number of strong covers as well, including "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart" and Tom Waits' "I Don't Wanna Grow Up."
In short, consider what you are missing if you don't see Hayes Carll in Boulder or Denver on Feb. 2nd or 3rd, respectively, as he hasn't been here since June 2008, and it's not worth waiting two more years for another live show. And try not to get too confused by the fact that he has a first name for a last name and a last name for a first name.
(Photo courtesy of Hayes Carll's Web site.)
Update: Review of Hayes Carll's Denver show here.