New music from Houston's fearless and funny alt-country hero
Hayes Carll is an odd mix. Wildly literate, impossibly romantic, absolutely a slave to the music, this modern-day Texan is completely committed to the truth and unafraid to skewer pomposity, hypocrisy and small-minded thinking. He connects with music lovers across genre lines. Playing rock clubs and honkytonks, Bonnaroo, Stones Fest, SXSW and NXNE, he and his band the Gulf Coast Orchestra merge Ray Wylie Hubbard’s lean freewheeling squalor with Todd Snider’s brazen Gen Y reality and a healthy dose of love among unhealthy people. Hayes returns to The Ark with the Joe Henry–produced "Lovers and Leavers," his first new album in five years. "I went through a divorce. I fell in love. Changes were made, realizations were realized, and life was lived," Hayes explains. "But, I kept on writing songs, on my own and with a cast of accomplished characters who combined their own stories and perspectives with mine. “Lovers and Leavers” isn’t funny or raucous. There are very few hoots and almost no hollers. But it is joyous, and it makes me smile. No, it’s not my “Blood on the Tracks,” nor is it any kind of opus. It’s my fifth record—a reflection of a specific time and place. It is quiet, like I wanted it to be. Like I wanted to be." Tonight's opener is Emily Gimble, granddaughter of Texas fiddle legend Johnny Gimble.