Listen up, dusty songwriter freaks: I've made a major discovery. Texas troubadour Hayes Carll reminds me of so many of the greats, my head spins like it's full of whiskey. I hear John Prine, Todd Snider, Townes Van Zandt, Tom Waits (he covers a Waits song, "I Don't Wanna Grow Up") and Ray Wylie Hubbard (with whom he co-wrote "Drunken Poet's Dream"). Carll writes from an eloquently poetic, buzz-hazy, lazy, downtrodden point of view dropping lines of universal clarity, whether he writes 'em or borrows 'em, as though they were empty liquor bottles: "Doesn't anybody speak about truth anymore? Maybe that's what songs are for." Most importantly, Carll is one funny dude. On the album-closing "She Left Me For Jesus," he laments, "The last time we made love, she even called out his name." Definitely a top contender in 2008.