Hayes Carll is an odd mix. Wildly literate, utterly slackerly, impossibly romantic, absolutely a slave to the music, he is completely committed to the truth and unafraid to skewer pomposity, hypocrisy and small-minded thinking. In a world of shallow and shallower, where it's all groove and gloss, that might seem a hopeless proposition.
Carll connects with music lovers across genres lines. Playing rock clubs and honkytonks, Bonnaroo, Stones Fest, SXSW and NXNE, he and his band merge a truculent singer/songwriter take that combines Ray Wylie Hubband's lean freewheeling squalor with Todd Snider's brazen Gen Y reality and a healthy dose of love amongst unhealthy people.
"I guess you could say I write degenerate love songs," Carll says. "That, and songs about people who're wedged between not much and even less people who see how hopeless it is and somehow make it work anyway. And the best kind of irony, sometimes, is applying no irony and letting reality do the work."