It's a good time to see Woodlands troubador Hayes Carll before he gets famous
It appears another seat might need to be added to the long, grizzled and guitar-worn table where Texas singer-songwriting royalty break bread. It appears local boy Hayes Carll has arrived with the much anticipated release of his new album, KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories).
His recent record release show at the Mucky Duck was sold out, much in the same way Lyle Lovett and Patti Griffin sold out local shows when there stars began to gab national illumination.
"Hey Willie, Lyle, Robert Earl... if you all would kindly scooch a little to the left to make way for the new kid? That's right, just a couple of inches. Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt have already shown him around. The rest of you just count him in once the guitar circle starts smokin'"
The coronation of Texas troubadour sainthood is not as simple to identify or quantify as it is in pop and rock where sales and charts position set the superstar curve. In the Lone Star State the curriculum is a little different. Singer-songwriting students must log a lot of road time, show a keen eye for the human condition and have willingness to sing their hearts out in ever ice house, frat house and juke joint between El Paso and Beaumont that will let them take the stage.
And even then there are no guarantees.
The 35 year-old Carll, a native of The Woodlands, has been honing his craft between Houston and Austin for the better part of a decade. In 2002, he released his debut album, Flowers & Liquor, on Houston's Compadre Records. He was named best folk act and best new artist for the effort by the Houston Press and his love affair with the city has never ended.
KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories) should be the album that finds Carll appreciation beyond the borders of Harris County.
In other words, see him now. Next time it might cost a bit more and the venue might not be nearly as intimate.
Hayes Carll, 9:15 p.m. Saturday at Firehouse Saloon