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Hayes Carll On Mountain Stage

Hayes Carll performs on <em>Mountain Stage</em>.
Brian Blauser
Mountain Stage
Hayes Carll performs on Mountain Stage.

In September 2021, Mountain Stage host Kathy Mattea welcomed Hayes Carll back for his sixth appearance on the program. The Texas singer-songwriter has been on the Americana scene since the early 2000s and has earned himself a legion of fans with his blend of sentimental and tongue-in-cheek country songs.

"He comes from that deep tradition of quintessential Texas songwriters, Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, who he has said, 'ruined me and saved me at the same time,' " explains Mattea. "These are the kinds of songs I relished playing in late-night jam sessions from West Virginia to Tennessee in my 20s. Songs with wit, edge, wisdom and self-reflection."

As if daylight was burning, Carll began sharing a set full of songs from his recent album, You Get It All.

"All my will be, all my was, all my cloud of Texas dust / All my humble, all my braggin', all my on and off the wagon / All my be your place to hide, all my always on your side / All my catch you when you fall, you get it all," Carll sang, in lyrics from the title cut.

After the rollicking gospel melody of "I Wouldn't Have it Any Other Way," Carll shared a set highlight with "Help Me Remember," a song he co-wrote with John Morningstar, about Carll's grandfather who he watched lose his struggle with dementia.

"If it's OK, I'd like to play a sad song for you," Carll said dryly after that particularly sad song, getting a roar of crowd laughter. Like Willie Nelson, Carll's superpower is not lingering too long on sad songs and waltzes, and sure enough, he dished up a pandemic-bred story, "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things," about Winnie, a dog the shelter swore was a Lab, but was, shall we say, something greater.

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Dave Lavender
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