A Taste of Americana
Not to be confused with American- Irish duo Hayes and Cahill, Hayes Carll is a Texan singer-songwriter billed as a cross between a young Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan. Much closer to the former than the latter, and more Townes Van Zandt than either, Carll is a regular Texas folk-country drawler, albeit young and handsome, ably adding new songs to the cannon with not inconsiderable wit and verve.
The tour coincides with Carll's first major label release, Trouble In Mind, four years after his first self-release, Little Rock. His new home is the prestigious Universal imprint Lost Highway, which, since 2000, has been home to Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Lucinda Williams. The move has earned Trouble In Mind a No.1 spot in the Americana Music Chart. Self-penned songs of whiskey drinking and heartache swing along nicely next to covers of Dylan and Tom Waits.
There's a tongue-in-cheek closer about losing a lover to Jesus, which is something of an admirable risk for a Deep South boy. Carll's Houston twang is believable enough, but the country-rock arrangements are pedestrian and he doesn't have the emotional clout or tenderness of a contemporary such as Sam Baker or Devon Sproule.
Honed by a gig history in the roughneck bars west of Highway 87, however, and initially so unsuccessful that he took to selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, Carll is a well-seasoned, entertaining and likeable performer.
Sat, Live Theatre, Broad Chare, Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne, 8pm, £10. Tel: 0191 232 1232. www.hayescarll.com