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Trouble In Mind

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iTunes Review

Hayes Carll moves through 2008’s Trouble In Mind with a confident stride, even if his music reeks of damaged hopes and bad choices. His first major label release polishes up his scruffy songwriting a little, giving him a shot at mainstream airplay. But fundamentally, he remains an ornery outsider, adhering to the noble Texas tradition of visionary balladry exemplified by the likes of Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle. A mood of lucid intoxication hangs over Trouble In Mind, emphasized by Carll’s parched vocals and love for folk, blues, and honky-tonk rooted melodies. He emotes with bleary-eyed tenderness on “Willing to Love Again” and “Beaumont,” then rocks like a renegade Rolling Stone (with help from ex-Georgia Satellite Dan Baird) on “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart.” Carll has a gift for long, flowing lyric lines — “A Lover Like You,” for instance, spews out stinging verbiage in the manner of vintage Bob Dylan. The edgiest (and funniest) cut here is “She Left Me for Jesus,” a scathing tune that lives up to its provocative title. In these tracks Carll enters the front ranks of alt-country artistry, stepping lively without succumbing to slickness.


Born: January 9, 1976 in Houston, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Born Joshua Hayes Carll, Texas singer and songwriter Hayes Carll received his first guitar at the age of 15 and almost immediately began writing songs influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Dead Poets Society, and the Beat novels and writings of Jack Kerouac, all of which continued to reverberate in his mature songwriting style. After graduating with a history degree from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas in 1998, Carll returned to Texas, settling in Crystal Beach,...
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