I’ll be honest, there were 3 main reasons (artist wise) for me sauntering south to Roots on the River this year. Hayes Carll was the biggest reason of them all. I picked up a guitar for the first time a long while back, but didn’t start toying with the idea of writing songs until I blasted through a collection of bands with other 15 year olds playing in friend’s parent’s basements drinking skunked Budweisers stashed outside or at our local high school talent shows. At that point we were merely covering tunes from Skynyrd or Johnny Cash or Stevie Ray Vaughan. Blues or country or whatever the hip band at that time was…an assortment of stuff. It wasn’t until I heard records like Ryan Adams’ ‘Heartbreaker’ and ‘Flowers and Liqour’ from Hayes Carll that I was bit with the need to write songs of my own. I have heard countless other artists tote Dylan as their inspiration for writing, but for me its been Hayes for a long while and damn it was good to see him perform in such an intimate setting.
I was lucky enough to sit down with Hayes last summer and talk about music, his latest record and what it means to write with conviction and honesty. He said something real simple to me that has really stuck ever since: “dig in and see what happens”. While the context was in relation to writing from the heart and where you are in the present moment in your life, I think its something we can all apply to any aspect of our life. Don’t be complacent, be true to yourself and those you care about around you and don’t be afraid to open up and be honest.
Here he is performing “Good While It Lasted” off of last year’s “Lovers and Leavers”.