Hayes Carll (Texas)
Woodlands, Texas native singer and songwriter Hayes Carll got his first guitar at the age of 15 and almost immediately began writing songs, influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Dead Poets Society, and the Beat novels and writings of Jack Kerouac – all of which continued to reverberate in his songwriting style through the years. His brand of roots-oriented writing has been noted (and lauded) for its plainspoken poetry and sarcastic humour.
At the start of his career, he played in local bars and gigs around Texas, and released a debut album, Flowers and Liquor in 2002, garnering him favourable comparisons with the likes of Townes Van Zandt. His second release, Little Rock, reached the top spot on the Americana charts. He made Trouble in Mind in 2008, which contained the clever and increasingly iconic “She Left Me for Jesus.”
Firmly established as a next-generation singer and writer in the Townes Van Zandt/Guy Clark/Ray Wylie Hubbard style of maverick country-folk, Carll released KMAG YOYO (the title comes from the military and is an abbreviation for “Kiss My Ass Guys, You’re On Your Own”), in 2011 – a terrific blend of humour, insight and heartache. The album won the Americana Music Association’s Album of the Year award and was placed on several year “best of” lists.
He was nominated for Grammy Awards in 2015 and 2016, tours, and remains one of America’s most singer-songwriters. We’re thrilled to welcome him to the festival.