The critics have gone crazy for singer-songwriter Hayes Carll, especially following the release of his recent ten-track full-length debut Lovers & Leavers (Thirty Tigers). The album was produced by Joe Henry, which is appropriate: Henry also produced Ramblin’ Jack Elliot’s 2009 album A Stranger Here, and Carll evokes more than just a bit of Ramblin’ Jack’s whimsy and folksy vocal style.
Carll’s authenticity caught the ear of Lee Ann Womack, who recorded his country ballad “Chance Are” on her acclaimed 2014 album The Way I’m Livin’.
This year, “Chances Are” earned Carll a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song.
Of course, he’d already caught the ears of critics: The New York Times once asserted, “. . . [Carll] extends a worthy Texas tradition: the weathered, hard-drinking, weary but clear-eyed troubadour. . . ,” while SPIN included him in their feature “The Next Big Things: 11 Artists You Must Hear in 2011,” calling him a “silver-tongue-in-cheek country iconoclast.”
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