Hayes Carll is a singer/songwriter from Texas.
He writes terrific tunes and plays a mean guitar.
He is also very, very funny. To tell you the truth
I can't exactly remember when I last laughed so much
but Mr Carll also understands the meaning of heartbreak.
It is the balance between humour and pathos which makes
'KMAG YOYO' such an endearing listening experience.
Please do listen to his duet with Carrie Ann Hearst on
'Another Like You', a lively democrat/republican spat
acted out against a backdrop to too much alcohol (it's
nice to see how quickly political differences melt
away in the face of drunken physical attraction!)
A country/rock dialogue to equal the genre's very best.
Despite its somewhat left-of-centre guitar tuning,
'Chances Are' is also a classic of its kind. " Chances are
I took a wrong turn every time there was a turn to take"
- Lyrics as good as this only fall out of the sky once in
a very long while. Mr Carll happened to be in the right
place at the right time for them to fall straight into his lap!
Upbeat highlights include opening track 'Stomp and Holler';
'Grand Parade' and the rough and ready title track 'KMAG YOYO'.
All three lend themselves to Wild West mischief and mayhem!
When it comes to baleful reflection things don't get much
better than 'Bye Bye Baby'. The crickets chatter in the grass;
the steel guitar lays down a laconic lament and the banjo
propels the composition on to its inevitably sad conclusion.
'Grateful For Christmas' is a beautifully constructed series
of observations on Mr Carll's yuletide family gathering.
(Loudon Wainwright may well have been smiling in the wings).
A bitter-sweet song of life and love and loss and regret, it
will doubtless ring a bell for each and every one of us.
Final track 'Hide Me' is an absolute stunner. The gruff and
grizzled vocal performance floats above a simple (and simply
beautiful) arrangement for electric piano, guitar and gospel
harmonies. It is by far the loveliest invention in the bunch.
Good honest music by a man who understands
more than a little of the wide world's worth.