Musician and Storyteller Hayes Carll

Posted on May 8, 2013. Filed under: storytelling | Tags: , , , , , |

Last week I went to see Hayes Carll in concert at The Birchmere.  He’s kind of old school country. Musically, he reminds me of Willie Nelson more than anyone in “country” these days.  I love him, however, for his lyrics, which often remind me of the Smother’s Brothers, on some of his funnier songs (Like “She Left Me for Jesus” or “One Bed, Two Girls, and Three Bottles of Wine”), though he has some real beauties as well.  The opening band, The Warren Hood Band, was an Austen bluegrass/rock type band.  Check them out. You heard it here first.

I honestly don’t go to a lot of concerts, partly, because I am old, partly because, like Glenn Gould, I feel like I get better sound out of recordings than you hear at lives shows, and partly because I often feel like there isn’t much point when all musicians often tend to do is sing the songs I already know.  Obviously, I generally like the kinds of musicians who don’t put on big, splashy shows.

But I will go see a select few musicians who I know will be great, like Ani DiFranco (adorable and bubbly) or Tori Amos (usually makes me cry). Question my musical taste all you like, part of why I go back to see them perform is I get something more out of the experience than just being in a crowded concert hall, in an uncomfortable seat, listening to music that would sound better at home.

So it was with Hayes Carll in concert.  In his case, in addition to putting on a great musical performance, he cracked me up with his stories.  Honestly, the audience was in stitches half the night from his storytelling/comedy routine between songs.  After his song “Little Rock,” he talked about how everyone always asks him why he doesn’t sing about Texas, where he lives. He said a few singers had already beat him to it, but he’s pretty sure Arkansas is gonna be big soon.  Then he said he went to college in Arkansas and just got honored by his alma mater as “Most Successful Alumni” or whatever.  He went back to look at his diploma only to discover he graduated last in his class.  After graduating, he went to Croatia for 6 months, because with his record, really, what else could he do?  He somehow ended up in a Croatian bath house and I won’t repeat the whole story but the punchline was “We wanted to see if everything really was bigger in Texas.”  I have not laughed so hard at any kind of a show for a long time.

He did not do any fancy dancing. The light show was fine, but nothing amazing. And there were no big screens to entertain.  Still, it was a great show and a big part of what made it stand out from just a musician singing his songs, was the storytelling.

I don’t know. I think this storytelling thing is gonna be big soon.


Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: