Photography: Hayes Carll and Jacob Furr

Hayes Carll at The Blue Light. Photograph by Susan Marinello/New Slang

Hayes Carll at The Blue Light. Photograph by Susan Marinello/New Slang

by: Thomas D. Mooney

“Cameos make me nervous.”–Hayes Carll

It’s been nearly two years since Hayes Carll came into town. The last was a November night in 2013 at The Blue Light. Daniel Fluitt and Kris Killingsworth of Thrift Store Cowboys did an opening duo set.

Carll did the usual–a handful of jokes, a few new tunes, an old deep cut or two, and heavy dose of hard-hitting songs that can only be described as standards. Carll classics.

He walks a line within a show that goes between heartfelt heartaches and country ramblers. It bounces between intimate acoustic to rowdy honky-tonkers with a good dose of southern gothic and dark humor in both.

This time around, Carll was no different. Substitute a couple of Thrift Store Cowboys for Ft. Worth’s Jacob Furr. The tall, lanky Texan jumps on the stage without a word to the crowd and into song he goes after Ray Charles’ version of “Deep in the Heart of Texas” finishes playing over the loud speakers. 

He goes to work.

Make no mistake, you’re never getting the same show with Carll, but you’re getting the same high quality of show each and every time.

“I see a good friend of mine out in the crowd, walking around with an instrument, and I would like to invite him to the stage. Ladies and gentlemen, my good buddy Cody Braun from Reckless Kelly,” says Carll about midway through the set. 

Braun and the rest of the Reckless Kelly bunch are bunched to the side of the stage as Braun pulls out his Barcus Berry fiddle, tunes up, and joins in the playing. He’ll stay to the right of Carll for the remainder of the night.

If you’d played your cards right, you’d have been able to see Reckless Kelly (and Carll’s cameo) and Carll (and Braun’s cameo) both during the night. A few doors down the street, Reckless Kelly played Cactus Theater a few hours earlier.

The four (and then five) piece revolving around Carll would blaze through a 23 songs in all that night–even a fumbling attempt at “Another Like You” with the help of a gutsy girl armed with an iPhone locked on Still, he came away unfazed.

Truly and utterly Hayes Carll. 

Hayes Carll Setlist

01. Love Is So Easy
02. Drunken Poet’s Dream
03. Little Rock
04. Beaumont
05. It’s a Shame
06. Bible on the Dash
07. Be There
09. Chickens
10. Stomp and Holler
11. Girl Downtown
12. Wild as a Turkey
13. Down the Road Tonight
14. I Got a Gig
15. Chances Are
16. Naked Checkers
17. Bad Liver and a Broken Heart
18. Hard Out Here

19. I Don’t Wanna Grow Up
20. Highway 87
21. Another Like You
22. The Loving Cup
23. Wish I Hadn’t Stayed So Long


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