AP Review: Trouble In Mind
Hayes Carll sings about gamblers and ramblers, yet he flashes his cards right upfront on Trouble in Mind," his first major-label album and third overall.
The 32-year-old Texan opens with "Drunken Poet's Dream," co-written with longtime Lone Star roustabout Ray Wylie Hubbard, and one of his two covers is Tom Waits'"I Don't Wanna Grow Up." If that doesn't telegraph his sound and style, then how about titles like "Knockin' Over Whiskeys,""Wild as a Turkey" and "She Left Me for Jesus"?
His lyrics give even more clues, with references to mescaline, cigarette papers, wine bottles, being higher than the moon, singing in a bar that's "like Cheers on meth," and dating women who go off like air raid sirens and spout lines like, "You be the sinner, honey, I'll be the sin."
Yep, Carll is another Texas singer-songwriter going on about wild women, lost weekends and stumbling and strutting through life while chasing love and fame.
But Carll's built a loyal following in the Southwest because his songs are more entertaining and more colorfully detailed than any of his red-dirt peers. He's the first songwriter to emerge from the Texas scene in the last decade who, like Robert Earl Keen and Jack Ingram, sounds like he has the nerve and talent to build a reputation comparable to that of such heroes as Guy Clark, Joe Ely and Billy Joe Shaver.
CHECK THIS OUT: "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart" sounds like it could be an outtake from the Rolling Stones'"Exile on Main Street," but with a genuine twang.