Lovers and Leavers
Thirty Tigers Records
A Masterclass in Americana Songwriting.
I came to the music of Hayes Carll relatively late in the day; and by a weird round about manner. When reviewing the first Hard Working Americans album, I raved about a song called Stomp and Holler; which led to several No Depression readers to take up the cudgels that ‘surely I would no that it was from the pen of the great Hayes Carll!’
The mistake was duly rectified and his songs soon became a staple of my late lamented radio show on NE1FM.
Which brings us to today; and his latest disc – Lovers and Leavers; his fifth since 2002, and one well worth discovering.
The soft and sad Drive which opens the record, thankfully carries on from the Award winning KMAG YOYO in 2011; and Carll’s distinctive world weary Texan drawl instantly hooks you like a fat fish on a silvery line.
As existing fans will know; there aren’t many laughs here; but the magical way Hayes uses the English language on Good While it Lasted and later, The Magic Kid will have people in years to come drooling over hidden meanings; just like the Dylanphiles do.
Love and most noticeably broken relationships are the golden thread that weaves all the way through this album.
Love Don’t Let Me Down, with it’s haunting steel guitar and subtle guitar picking will grab at your heartstrings like a limpet; and if ‘she’ ever hears this song; she will feel as guilty as sin, and come rushing back screaming “Sorry” at the top of her voice.
On a similar tip; but with a slightly jaunty tune featuring an electric organ, is Love Is So Easy. The theme of the song may not be new; but the way Hayes picks up the minutiae and delivers the words as if it’s one long sigh; is quite extraordinary.
In an album full of gems there is one actual diamond Sake of The Song; which is a fabulous story set to a powerfully atmospheric melody which slowly builds to something of a crescendo.
If you don’t already know Hayes Carll; like me two years ago; but like Guy Clark, Tom Russell, Sam Baker or perhaps Slaid Cleaves (all favourites of the Rocking Magpie) Hayes Carll will be a welcome addition to your record collection.
Released April 8th 2016