hayes carll

Hayes Carll’s ‘Lovers and Leavers’ out today

Hayes_2016_3Hayes Carll’s stunning new record Lovers and Leavers is out today.  He will embark on a brief Texas tour before heading off to the UK at the end of the month, then back Stateside for dates through the summer.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been anticipating this release since Carll first announced last year that he’d be recording it with Joe Henry at the production helm.  His stated purpose at that time was to create something a bit more introspective, downplaying perhaps some of the rambunctious humor of his earlier work (i.e. “She Left Me For Jesus”).

Lovers and Leavers is certainly quintessential Carll – quieter, more reflective, for sure, but not without his trademark insight and humor.  It is perhaps the most spare record Joe Henry has ever produced, placing the emphasis squarely on Carll’s voice and guitar, underpinned by the percolating rhythm section of Jay Bellerose and David Piltch, occasionally accented by the keys of Tyler Chester and pedal steel of Eric Heywood.  Interestingly, this is easily Carll’s most personal and often revealing album of songs, but each tune is credited with a co-writer, an approach that Carll has said brings added perspective to his own voice.  Check out the very personal “The Magic Kid” (written with Darrell Scott) for evidence that Carll has brilliantly found ways marry personal details with universal truths about innocence and fearlessness.

Hayes Carll could not have found a more sympathetic producer than Joe Henry for this record, which is no doubt a significant milestone in Carll’s career.  As a fan of both artists’ work long before this collaboration, I can wholeheartedly say that it has exceeded my hopes in every way.

Please check it out.  Here’s a quick review and press roundup:

And from those Folk Alley 30A Sessions, here is Carll with the incomparable Allison Moorer on “Love Don’t Let Me Down” (not performed as a duet on the album, btw)…

Joe Henry interview with The Bluegrass Situation

A new interview with Joe Henry always leaves you with plenty to absorb.  So enjoy this one with The Bluegrass Situation’s esteemed Stephen Duesner, as part of their ongoing The Producers series.

They begin with a discussion of the new Hayes Carll album, but there are plenty of insights from JH on his role as record producer.

Hear the new Joe Henry-produced Hayes Carll album now

Hayes_2016_3I guess it’s no secret that I’m very excited about the new Hayes Carll record Lovers and Leavers – first, because it’s a new Hayes Carll record (following a five year wait), and second, because it was produced by Joe Henry.

The album will be released next week on April 8, but you can listen to the whole thing at Rolling Stone now, accompanied by a substantial article.  Carll will host his gathering of the Drunken Poets’ Society this weekend in Port Aransas, Texas, then promote the album’s release with a brief Texas tour before embarking on a late-April UK tour.  He’ll hit much of the United States throughout the summer (tour dates here).

More Joe Henry production news

A couple of other noteworthy tracks produced by Joe Henry are now available:

  • Hayes_2016_2Aimee Mann recorded a version of The Carpenters’ “Yesterday Once More” for the new HBO series Vinyl.  It was produced by JH, and you can listen to it on Stefan’s site or purchase the track from iTunes.
  • Hayes Carll has released another track from his upcoming JH-produced record, Lovers & Leavers“Sake of the Song” can be heard over at Rolling Stone or purchased from iTunes (separately or included with the album pre-order).  The album will be released on April 8.