Huntsville Preview: Hayes Carll
In college towns, there are always three things: wild bars, cheap Jagerbombs and singer/songwriters. That formula holds true for lots of towns - except Conway, Ark., home of Hendrix College. Conway is located in a dry county.
"There were no clubs and bars," said Hayes Carll, a 32-year-old singer/songwriter from Texas who went to Hendrix.
But an undeterred college-aged Carll found a place to play his style of acoustic music.
"I was kind of just playing in my living room," said Carll, who recently released his third album, Trouble in Mind.
The album has an Americana/roots rock sound, but Carll offered another description.
"I'm a singer/songwriter with a twang," Carll said.
Carll will play Friday at the Flying Monkey.
Carll's journey from college student to singer is a long and winding path that took him from studying Cold War-era politics to performing Bob Dylan songs at bars along the Gulf of Mexico. After getting a degree in history from Hendrix College, Carll couldn't find a job. Actually, Carll said he was at the bottom of his graduating class and no one wanted to hire him. But he didn't care. Carll wanted to be a musician.
"It was either songwriter or bust for me," said Carll, who moved to Crystal Beach, Texas, near Galveston.
For four years, Carll sang to "rougher crowds" at shrimper joints and watering holes. But it was time well spent, he said.
"It was good initiation," Carll said. "I got used to all the different crowds."
Now, more than 10 years and three albums later, Carll said he's still excited about playing music.
"I wouldn't trade it for any other job," he said.
And despite playing with some of his idols such as the Old 97's, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Guy Clark, Carll said he's hoping to play with Bob Dylan one day.
"I'm waiting for him to call me," Carll said.