It’s a darn good day here at KUTX when we get to host a fella like Hayes Carll in Studio 1A, and last Wednesday was one of those days. Carll performed three tunes, and he was joined by The Warren Hood Band (sans Mr. Hood himself–who was out of town on his honeymoon, said Carll). One of the songs was a new one–and a particularly touching one at that, but we’ll get to that beauty of a song in a bit.
Carl was born in ’76, and grew up in the ‘burbs of Houston. In his 37 years he’s most definitely earned his place in the pantheon of Texas songwriting greats. After college in Arkansas, Carll bounced between gigs in Houston, Galveston and other joints along the Gulf Coast. He released his first full-length Flowers and Liquor in 2002 and followed it up with 2005’s Arkansas. Carll jumped to major roots label Lost Highway (home to folks like Lucinda and Lyle) for his next record, 2008’s Trouble in Mind–an album that also sported some very Dylan-esque cover art. And speakin’ of Dylan, Carll weaved a very Bob cadence on the excellent “KMAG YOYO,” a rockin’, biting tale of a young soldier that became the title track to his 2011 album.
That just about brings us to today, or last Wednesday rather. Carll opened his set in Studio 1A with a tune that he penned with singer-songwriter Darrell Scott. Carll wrote “The Magic Kid” for his nine-year-old son Elijah–who just happens to be a budding magician. Carll, deftly picking his acoustic (and backed by long bass notes care of Naj Conklin and Emily Gimble’s lovely, simple piano), sings with such tenderness and love. You have to have a really hard heart to not feel something when you hear it–especially when you listen to the whole session, and hear Carll tell the story about when he played the song for his son for the first time. I won’t spoil it for you, but you may want to have some tissues handy.