Denver, Colorado – February 3, 2010
On a cold winter Wednesday night in a small room in downtown Denver, with a warm fuzzy warm up from the beautiful Angie Stevens, Hayes Carll thrilled a focused crowd. This was not your typical shit-stirring, body-bumping audience. These fans mostly knew the words, sang along or silently stood in ‘rapt-attention’ mode. I know I did, anyway.
Hayes just seems like the kind of guy you wind up on a barstool beside and surprisingly find yourself as relaxed and at ease as you would with someone you’d known and conversed with for years.
The Woodlands, the affluent suburb just north of Houston, seems like an unlikely place to spawn a gritty Texas country singer-songwriter but that’s where Hayes Carll was apparently raised in a two-attorney household. He left there to attend college in Arkansas, then spent six months picking corn as a farm laborer in Iowa – which is something else you wouldn’t expect a child of the Woodlands to be doing.
Those experiences and his years living in secluded Crystal Beach, across the bay from Galveston, playing local bars before launching out on the road, however, lend a lot of credibility to an impressive music resume.
He says he was the “perennial opening act” for the likes of Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sisters Morales, Willis Alan Ramsey, and a host of other legendary Texas artists when they played Galveston’s Old Quarter, where he learned his chops.