Carll's Hard-Won Wisdom
With his first two albums, Flowers and Liquor and Little Rock, Hayes Carll joined the long line of take-no-prisoners Texas troubadours such as Guy Clark, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Steve Earle (the first two have already cowritten with him). Trouble in Mind solidifies the 32-year-old Houston-area native's place in that august company.
Carll oozes plenty of wise-guy charm, rocking out with swaggering crowd-pleasers like "I Got a Gig" and "She Left Me for Jesus." As with his predecessors, however, behind the sardonic wit lies a sense of innate and sometimes hard-won wisdom. And a lot of heart, which he lays bare in quieter moments such as "Beaumont" and "Don't Let Me Fall."
3 1/2 STARS