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Flowers and Liquor

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Album Review

In this extraordinary debut, Houston's Hayes Carll plants himself square in the tradition of Texas barroom balladeers, and pretty close to their front ranks at that. He sings in a dusty whine, delivering lyrics that recall those of Townes Van Zandt in their slouching, unforced artfulness. His writing conjures broad and weary vistas and holds up as well under close scrutiny; the opening line to "Heaven Above," "six pack of somethin'," boils a song's worth of ennui into one tiny package and brilliantly sets the stage for all that follows. Carll's band complements this raggedy eloquence with an emphasis on acoustic textures (except for the milky electric tremolo on "Lost and Lonely") and ample use of twin slide guitar or a slide/Dobro combination. But Carll also shines on solo tracks such as "Arkansas Blues," on which his vocals fill the space left by the absent band with a nuanced expressiveness that rivals that of the early Dylan. Above all, there's not a whiff of affectation in this music: From the laconic yodel at the end of "Live Free or Die" to the sly seductiveness of "Naked Checkers" and the title track, Flowers and Liquor is the real thing, done about as well as it can be done. ~ Robert L. Doerschuk, Rovi

Customer Reviews

I <3 Hayes Carll!!

Even before he could grow a beard!

One of the best songwriters

Saw Hayes last night in Austin and have since bought every record. Heart wrenching performer and excellent songwriting.


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,...
Full Bio