Hayes Carll might be the perfect artist to introduce (or perhaps reintroduce) fans of pop country to genuine country music. On his third album, Trouble In Mind, Carll keeps things gritty enough to appeal to alt-country and traditional country purists while imbuing some songs with the right amount of hooks to possible lure in unsuspecting fans of Trace Adkins or Toby Keith. It’s a difficult like to walk, considering that veering too far towards either side of spectrum would likely alienate fans on the other side, but Carll manages to pull it off. All the elements of traditional country are here, from the banjo on “Girl Downtown” to the juke joint piano on “A Lover Like You” to the steel guitar that pops up in several tracks. Yet Carll’s knack for writing sing-along choruses makes rock-influenced songs like “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart” and “I Got a Gig” potential country radio fodder. Carll’s true strong suit, however, lies in his lyrics. From the debauchery outlined in the opening track, “Drunken Poet’s Dream,” to the hilarious closer “She Left Me for Jesus,” Carll injects al of his songs with a rare blend of honest emotion and sardonic wit.