Friday, December 24, 2010

Hayes Carll Makes Us Grateful For Christmas

Hayes CarllThere are only a few singer-songwriters who belong in the same company as Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, and Townes Van Zandt. Hayes Carll is one of them.

The lanky Texan isn't especially well known beyond his hardcore fan base, but his unexpected Christmas song and pending new CD, KMAG YOYO & Other American Stories, are beginning to change that. The song, Grateful For Christmas, isn't new as Carll has been singing it for at least a year. But it might as well be new.

The song has finally started making the rounds this year, thanks to its inclusion on the forthcoming KMAG YOYO. It caught even more attention when he played it live on Don Imus’ radio show. It’s a song about family, tradition, loss, and dreams.

“Dad and the TV are starting to fight, I wish I had a drink or maybe a dozen. Lord, what I’d give for one good lookin’ cousin." — Hayes Carll

Everything about the song, much like everything about Carll, is weary, compelling, and intimate. He hails from the suburbs of Houston, but is better known for hanging his hat in Austin. Here's a clip of the song as performed on the show.

Carll is not a newcomer. He has released two independent CDs, including Flowers and Liquor and Little Rock. After signing with the Lost Highway label in 2008, he released Trouble In Mind. Amazon named it the #1 country album and #9 overall album two years ago.

It's no small feat, especially because it might be a stretch to call him country (or rock or folk). He blends the best of those genres into every album. If there is anything that makes it country, one might consider the songwriting. There are plenty of hard luck stories, down-on-your-luck stories, tales of endless miles, and lost love.

What really makes Carll stand out is his unique ability to intimately share these stories with a quick, dry wit, and an always engaging, weary voice. He sings direct to you, creating an intimacy that places him at your table or in the next seat. There’s something very real happening here.

Grateful For Christmas Chimes In With An 8.8 On the Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

Carll has been touring nonstop. Whether solo or bringing along his touring band, The Poor Choices, expect to see him in heavy rotation in the South and Northeast. His new album, KMAG YOYO, will be released on Feb. 15, 2011.

Grateful for Christmas on KMAG YOYO (& other American stories) can be pre-ordered on Amazon. You can also pick up Grateful For Christmas as a single on iTunes. Happy holidays!
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