Hayes Carll

KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories) (Lost Highway)

Texas Platters

Hayes Carll

KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories) (Lost Highway)

With 2008's Trouble in Mind, Hayes Carll turned his red-dirt-caked troubadourism into a national debut garnering acclaim behind the lackadaisical humor of "She Left Me for Jesus" and Ray Wylie Hubbard co-write "Drunken Poet's Dream." The Austin songwriter's fourth album breaks beyond Texas borders again, this time with the titular acronym of "Kiss My Ass, Guys, You're On Your Own." The irreverent wit honed in the dive bars of Crystal Beach now displays the kind of maturity that bites with purpose but assuages with a wink. Carll's crackling drawl settles into these tunes like boots, whether kicking up dust on the hard rhythm of opener "Stomp and Holler" or waxing tender and affectionate in the hushed gospel rounds of piano closer "Hide Me." The new terrain and comfortable footing between the beginning and end titles includes pure dance hall glass-raisers "Hard Out Here" and "Chances Are," which conjures Willie Nelson both in guitar and sentiment, as well as "Grand Parade," carrying enough classic pop lilt in its country step to warrant Monte Warden's approval. The title track rumbles a bewildering wartime narrative that strikes like an oddly compelling collision of Gravity's Rainbow and "Copperhead Road," yet it's the opposites-attract duet with Cary Ann Hearst, "Another Like You," that may best capture the absurdity of our contemporary zeitgeist as the two trade jabs with the affectionate venom of John Prine and Iris DeMent. The banjo on "Bye Bye Baby" and the oddly Sam Baker-ish "Grateful for Christmas" seem the only pieces out of place, compensated for by the sincerity of "The Letter" and the Todd Snider- and Corb Lund-aided reel "Bottle in My Hand." Hayes Carll may be playing American schlub on the LP cover, but he's razor-sharp and ready.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Hayes Carll
The Magic Kid
The Magic Kid
Hayes Carll reappears without the riddles

Doug Freeman, April 8, 2016

Hayes Carll Record Review
Hayes Carll Record Review
Lovers and Leavers (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, April 8, 2016

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
The Golden Boys
Better Than Good Times (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Nov. 24, 2017

Sunday ACL Fest Platter: Midland
On the Rocks (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 13, 2017

More by Doug Freeman
Destroyer’s Dan Bejar Goes Goth
Destroyer’s Dan Bejar Goes Goth
“I can’t imagine writing another batch of songs like this again”

Jan. 11, 2018

Free Week Live Shots
Jai Malano, Tomar & the FCs, Honey Made
Stubb’s, Jan. 7

Jan. 12, 2018


Hayes Carll

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle