I appreciate Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, Willie Nelson and Houston professional sports teams. I've been fortunate to make my living as a singer-songwriter for almost twenty years. My sixth record "What It Is" is coming out on Dualtone Records on Feb 15th. I have a badass son, an incredible fiancé, and would like to get a dog. Feel free to check out a couple of the new tunes, tour dates and grab a copy of "What It Is" at http://www.hayescarll.com

Proof: https://i.redd.it/1tjs99k6c0g21.jpg

Comments: 271 • Responses: 83  • Date: 

cjdavda16 karma

Hi Hayes! I got to meet you one time after a show in Tulsa and I got nervous and asked you if you really are taller than James Brown. What I should have done was thank you for making a discography that had recently helped me get through the worst period in my life.

With that being said, what's the strangest interaction you've ever had with a fan?

HayesCarll6 karma

Thanks for the kind words.

Boy, I've had some doozies. I've had fans ask me to sign gear and musical equipment they've stolen off of the stage. I've had many people grab my ass. There are so many truly weird ones that I cannot even recall right now. They just all sort of start to run together after awhile.

HayesCarll15 karma

Hey Everybody. I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to come hang out in here and for all the good questions. I'm going to keep answering until 2:30 EST but then I need to take a break. I will try to come back later today and tomorrow to get to questions I missed. I appreciate y'all not leaving me hanging by myself in here.

Veryunclever15 karma

Congratulations on your upcoming release! I have two questions:

I posed this question to Corb Lund in one of his Facebook Live events last year and feel compelled to get your answer. Who would win in a knife fight between you and Corb?

A more serious, yet potentially less fatal question: As you accumulate experience and skill as a songwriter do you ever revisit your previous work with a more critical eye? Or are you content to let it stand on its own in the era it was written?

We named our son Hayes. I would be lying if I said you weren't a motivating factor in suggesting it to my wife. It was one of the few names we agreed upon. So thanks for that, your check's in the mail. Thank you for doing what you do.

HayesCarll15 karma

I think Corb would handily win a knife fight, or any other survival contest.

I do look back at past stuff with a critical eye. I like to see what worked and what I could've done better. It is something I created and I have to accept that I can't go back and change it but it's still interesting to me to see where I was at that time.

Give Hayes my best!

8oclockinboiseidaho11 karma

Any plans for a future inland northwest tour? Montana, North Idaho, Washington, Alberta area.

HayesCarll8 karma

Yes. I'll be in Seattle and Boise in April/May and then will hit the Mountain West in July. Canada will hopefully follow soon.

WorshipNickOfferman10 karma

How cold is cold as hell for Houston? Are we talking 50’s or 60’s?

HayesCarll7 karma


TJL4067 karma

Hi Hayes! Huge fan from Montana!!! Two questions.... 1. Do you ever forget the words to Down the Road Tonight or change the words? 2. Who's version of Drunken Poet's Dream is better? Yours or Ray Wylies? :)

Seriously though....can't wait to listen to the new music! You are one of my all time favorite song writers.

HayesCarll12 karma

Yes, I forget the words quite often. I have little cues I give myself to remember which verse goes when but it's really just muscle memory at this point, and if I miss a beat I can flame out. That train is hard to get back on the track.

Ray's of course.

SkyCupcake7 karma

What is your favorite color?

HayesCarll6 karma


catro5236 karma

What is your favorite song to sing?

Who is your favorite muppet?

When you're in Pittsburgh, will you come to my house for dinner?

HayesCarll14 karma

The Pilgrim ..Kris Kristofferson


No. But thank you.

highdeserttrash6 karma

Who is your favorite group/artist to perform with?

HayesCarll14 karma

Singing with Allison is at the top of the list. I always love singing with my buddies Corb Lund and John Evans. Todd Snider is a blast. Shovels and Rope are amazing.

HayesCarll10 karma

Allison Moorer.

Corb Lund and John Evans.

Shovels and Rope.

Todd Snider.

Band of Heathens

skatx19826 karma

Do you think Austin is changing for the better or for the worse? Why? Any examples?

HayesCarll9 karma

I think for the last forty years if you go to Austin the people there will tell you it's going downhill. That obviously hasn't been true. But...there are a lot of people moving in there and it was getting a little congested for my taste. Still a one of kind town though with amazing music, radio stations, food, etc.

gutterandstars6 karma

How tall are we talking here?

HayesCarll5 karma


indiefab6 karma

I’ve heard Bibles have no effect on Border Patrol with citrus-sniffing K9s. Any personal experience?

HayesCarll17 karma

I found that looking like a hungover musician with something to hide far outweighs and bibles you have in the van.

froggylady5 karma

What’s the story behind “Beaumont”? It’s mine and my husbands song (he’s from outside Beaumont I’m from north of Houston and he’s drive to see me on the weekends) and I’d love to know more about it!! Thanks and you’re awesome!!

HayesCarll5 karma

When I lived in Crystal Beach I would go up to Beaumont a lot to play and hang out. It felt like just the right amount of distance from Houston to work for that song.

RoosterCruiser5 karma

I know one of the most important pieces of being a great writer is being a great reader.
Have any recent book recommendations?

HayesCarll11 karma

I just finished Radney Fosters book of short stories "For You To See The Stars", and thought it was killer. Inspiring stuff.

xrostag5 karma

Craziest story from your days at Crystal Beach?

HayesCarll10 karma

My son is reading this so I can't really go there.

jeanbystol5 karma

Your stories are a huge part of your appeal - both the ones you tell in your songs, and the ones you tell at live shows. Any chance you will ever write a book? I'm thinking of Todd Snider's book that was so entertaining and real and can imagine something similar from you.

HayesCarll2 karma

Hey Jean, I would love to someday. But as I watch Allison correct her page proofs for her book at this very moment it makes me realize that is no recreational task. It will be a few years before I can consider doing something like that.

bookdude4 karma

Do you have a really cool Todd Snider story you can tell?

HayesCarll5 karma

I've been fortunate to know Todd for a long time and I have a few good stories but it would take me a while to give all the details. I'll just say he's one of the most creative and interesting folks I've ever come across.

tywillia4 karma

Question #1 You recorded “It’s a Shame” on two different albums. How did that come to be?
Question #2 Will the Ego Brothers and Gary Floater ever go on tour?

Sidebar: I loved your cover of “Girl with the Dirty Hair” on Adam’s tribute. I have loved hearing Adam & Chris perform “Take Me Away.”

HayesCarll8 karma

I used it again because Trouble In Mind was going to reach a much bigger audience than Flowers and Liquor had and I just thought that song deserved another shot to be heard.

Never say Never

Thanks. Adam Carroll rules.

a_bounced_czech4 karma

Saw you at the Beto benefit show in Dallas (Irving). How'd you get involved with that? BTW, that was one of the BEST shows I've ever seen.

HayesCarll3 karma

Ryan Bingham asked me to be involved and I quickly accepted.

WrenchNumbers4 karma

Hello Hayes, big fan since I first heard you opening for the Old 97s years ago.

What are your favorite songs to play live? Any plans to work with Shovels and Rope more in the future?

HayesCarll6 karma

That Old 97's tour was a blast. What great guys and musicians.

It depends on the room and how I'm feeling for my favorite song. Sometimes it's something quiet like Arkansas Blues. I always enjoy Wish I Hadn't Stayed So Long. But the most exciting stuff is the newest. There is an energy and excitement to playing something that isn't as rehearsed.

I'll be playing Highwater Fest - S&R's Festival - this Spring.

Failph4 karma

Hey Mr. Carll,

Is Deshaun Watson the one?

What is your favorite lyric or turn of phrase from John Prine?

What were you enjoying or inspired (music, life, food, books?) by when writing the new album

Since you travel a lot do you notice that people are different depending on the location?

HayesCarll5 karma

I'll have to think on the Prine question for a minute. Almost every line he's ever written hits me in some kind of way.

HayesCarll3 karma

Deshaun is amazing! He's making Houston football fun to watch and seems like a hell of a dude.

bigdaddystyle3 karma

Hi Hayes. I'm a fan of your work, so Thank You. I really appreciate it.

I love discovering new music. Can you recommend any performers/bands that are outside the mainstream we might not have heard of, but would maybe love?

I think new music is like a food you've never tasted and loved that first time you tried it. It creates a hunger for more of the same...and then more new food.

HayesCarll3 karma

It depends what is mainstream for you but two of my favorites are

Gregory Alan Isacov

Adam Carroll

vikinglady3 karma

Hi hello! Huge fan. Saw you perform at the Beto rally in Irving and was blown away.

Who are your top 3 favorite artists? Not necessarily those who have been the most influential, but those who you just really enjoy listening to.

HayesCarll4 karma

Willie Nelson

Bob Dylan

Lucinda Williams

marvinovich3 karma

What song(s) have you written that you feel is underappreciated, like you put something into it that people don't get back out of it? Just saw Corb at Stubb's and when he played S Lazy H, I realized I never really "listened" to it until he was right in front of me while his band stepped off. Now I feel like I need to dig deeper.

HayesCarll3 karma

Good question. Yeah, Corb has a lot of songs that when you really listen to the details they will blow you away on a different level. Arkansas Blues was always one where I always felt the personal pride to audience response ratio was imbalanced.

mikecei663 karma

I’ve seen you a dozen or so times and have never heard you play Barroom Lament. Any chance of sneaking it into the Denver show?

HayesCarll3 karma

Remind me on social media when it's closer to the gig and I'll see if the band remembers it.

Succulentmama3 karma

If you could jam anywhere where would you go? 😊🎸

HayesCarll4 karma

I want to go to Hawaii. It's the only state I haven't been to or played in. If Willie will invite me out for a gig at his house that would be perfect.

digwaves3 karma

Hayes, Thanks for hangin out with us on the farm via my speakers.

Whats the story/inspiration behind "sake of the song"? Its one of my favorites and i hear something different every time i listen to it.

HayesCarll3 karma


I can't remember what led Darrell Scott and me down that path. I think we were just trading road stories - as musicians are want to do - and at some point we just decided to put all the different perspectives in a song.

kayelar3 karma

Do you still get nervous on stage? I’ve started doing stand up and I’ve been inspired by the storytelling and humor you and other Americana artists use. You all seem so comfortable with the stage.

I’m a music historian who went to school in Conway and lives in Austin now as well, and I’m a big fan. Thanks for the AMA!

HayesCarll4 karma

Hey! Yes, I still get nervous. It can actually be problematic on short sets or cameos...anything where I don't have time to get comfortable and get the vibe of the audience. Boy. Comedy is tough. I have amazing prop/lifeline in my guitar that I use to pull me out of any comedic bomb I might drop. Also, the bar is way lower for a musician than for someone who people are expecting to make them laugh. I sometimes have surprise on my side. Conway to Austin...Very cool. Good luck to you.

dackerdee3 karma

Did your first girlfriend really end up working at Hooters?

HayesCarll4 karma

My first college girlfriend had worked there before she and I dated.

folkplayer3 karma

What’s guitar is currently your favorite?

HayesCarll2 karma

I've been playing the same guitar since 2002. It's a Gibson J-45 and I still love it.

brajohns3 karma

I've always loved You Leave Alone. Drawing convincing and three-dimensional portraits of people in 2-3 verses is very hard to do and this song does it so well. Did you know a real Billy to draw inspiration from?

I don't like to preview songs before the full album comes out. I like to experience it all at once, once-through. What can we expect with What it Is?

HayesCarll7 karma

Thanks. That was just made up. I had a few phrases and rhymes that I loved and Scott Nolan and I just sat down with some ideas he had and we invented a character that fit them and a story for him to tell. It's a fun process when it works.

popn1523 karma

So, what is it?

HayesCarll5 karma

But the record and it will all be revealed.

memphistiger023 karma

Hayes. What really happened in Memphis on that first tour?

HayesCarll5 karma

I left my car at the venue to go drinking with friends and when we got back to the club the window had been smashed. Mando Saenz and I spent two months touring with duct tape over the window.

livemindful3 karma

What is your favorite venue to play?

We saw you at Saxon Pub last year and to this day was one of my favorite shows. Have tickets for the Nashville show in April as well!

HayesCarll7 karma

There are so many great rooms. I love listening rooms like The Mucky Duck in Houston, The Saxon Pub in Austin, etc. It's always a treat to be onstage at The Ryman.

jotate113 karma

Love your work Hayes! Always fun to see you live too, especially at The Duck. What some of your favorite 2018 albums? Who are some of your favorite songwriters making music today? Go stros!!

HayesCarll7 karma


Jason Isbell

Gregory Alan Isacov

Kacey Musgraves

Rayland Baxter

James McMurtry

Jason Eady

Todd Snider

Corb Lund

John Evans

Turnpike Troubadours

BJ Barham

confused_longhorn3 karma

Any advice to young songwriters in the Austin area to get their career moving?

HayesCarll6 karma

Write, write, write. Figure out what you have to say. Study the ones you admire but don't be weighed down by their talent. It took most of them a lifetime to get where they are. Figure out their tricks if you need to and but worry mostly about about your own voice and your own art. and go play. play every chance you get. Most of the good things that happened to me early on came from meeting people at shows or elsewhere who could help me get going in some way.

osucowguy3 karma

Hayes, I saw Travis will be heading out with you on tour. Who else will be staffing the Gulf Coast Orchestra?

HayesCarll3 karma

Mike Meadows on drums.

Travis Linville on steel, guitar, and dobro

Geena Spigarelli on bass

Cory Younts on piano, mandolin, and harmonica

dijos3 karma

Hayes, you're amazing and such a great songwriter. I have a few questions, I hope you can get to them. Do you feel that the music scene in Austin has gotten worse (less receptive to new live music) over the last decade or so? How has having a son changed your professional life in music (Magic kid always make me think of my own son)? How autobiographical is "faulkner Street"? Is this a golden time for songwriters in the Americana genre? I'm thinking of Jason Isbell, you, Margo Price, even John Prine is getting the respect he always deserved. Thanks for doing this AMA.

HayesCarll3 karma


I moved out of Austin about a year and a half ago so I don't have my ear to the street like I once did. But I think the more people that move there - and there are a lot - the bigger the potential audience. And there are some great programs like Black Swan that really help newer artists with grants and bookings. I still think it's a great place to be a musician. But you've gotta be hungry or someone else will get your spot.

I think it's an amazing time for songwriters. I love how much great stuff is out there. Some really important voices like Jason's are making this a wonderful era..

SeriousBet3 karma

Suggestions for venues to check out in NYC?

HayesCarll3 karma

Bowery Ballroom

Joe's Pub

Mercury Lounge

Rockwood Music Hall

OysterSocks3 karma

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday! My question is: were you in NYC on Saturday December 8th, walking briskly down 8th Ave.?

(Were visiting from Houston, had tickets to the upcoming Heights Theater show, and thought we spotted you).

HayesCarll3 karma

Ha! There is a good chance that was me.

Poofengle3 karma

What’s your favorite venue you’ve played during your career, and what made it your favorite? Was it the crowd, a milestone in your life, or something else that made it stick out in your mind?

HayesCarll5 karma

There have been some epic ones.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival w/ John Prine because it was the biggest crowd I had ever been in front of and I was on stage singing with John Prine.

Levon Helm's Ramble in Woodstock NY. It's a barn filled with the most incredible collection of musicians you can imagine and it was all led by Levon Helm. One of the most incredible nights of my life.

mstevens263 karma

Hey Hayes. We have been fans of yours since first hearing KMAG, then dug deeper in your albums and you became one of our favorite artists. We used Hayes as our sons middle name and are contemplating using “Love Is So Easy” as our wedding song. If you’re around Pennsylvania during that weekend we would love for you to stop by. Which one of your albums do you consider your favorite, and for what reasons?

HayesCarll5 karma

Thanks for the kind words. I'm proud of all my records and they all hold a special place for me because they represent a time in my life and where my heart and soul was at that time. When my career is over I could pick a favorite, but right now it's my new one, What It Is. It feels like a culmination of all the previous work and it just hits all the notes I wanted to hit on a record.

Hawkdaddy43 karma

I heard you linked up with The Cadillac Three recently, anything in the mix for joint songwriting or performing?

HayesCarll2 karma

Yeah, I wrote a pretty cool song with Jaren Johnston. He's great and I hope we get to do it again.

Apples7993 karma

What do you think about Arkansas? BTW my 75 year old uncle introduced me to your music by playing me She Left me for Jesus! Thanks for making music that spans generations!

HayesCarll5 karma

I think there are some amazingly beautiful parts and some parts I wouldn't want my enemies to have to live in.

tonyk113 karma

How annoying is it when fans yell out requests during shows? I can’t stand it. I’m in the play whatever like category. Hope to see you play in the near future!

HayesCarll4 karma

If it's not a song that I'm feeling it can create a weird vibe. Either way one shout out is enough. If you're hollering multiple times you're just becoming a distraction and making the show about yourself. Thanks for the question and I hope to see you at a show.

agnostic_hymns3 karma

Hey Hayes, can't wait to hear the new album. Got a question and a news story for ya: 1) if you were to cover a Todd Snider track on an album, which one and why? 2) I think your friendly neighborhood tiger found his way to houston https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47210466

HayesCarll2 karma

Train Song.

Old Timer

The Devil You Know

New Connection

medicalmanagementpro3 karma

Hey Hayes, your often political songs lead me to believe you may answer this question; what are your thoughts on the political and social climate in America today?


HayesCarll4 karma

I think we have more in common than we do dividing us and we deserve leaders who speak to our better angels. We can all do better.

Aresem3 karma

Okay I'm really glad to see you here because I've been unsure of the narrative in "KMAG YOYO" since I heard it. Is the kid hallucinating after an injury from an IED or is any of that shit really happening?

HayesCarll3 karma

The first one. Almost everything in the song until the end is a morphine induced hallucination.

thebigdock3 karma

Can you sing "Perfect Lover" in Denton on the 27th at Dan's? Please....

HayesCarll3 karma

Unfortunately that is the song I am least likely to sing at Dan's. It's kind of cool but I haven't sung it since 2002 and I don't think I'll be dusting it off on this tour. Sorry.

mirandakbennett3 karma

Is there an artist you secretly long to collaborate with?

Your music has meant SO much to me over the past 12 yrs, maybe too much! Ha (named ny son after you) So thank you for doing what you do. Watching my mailbox everyday for my new album, can't wait to spin it!

HayesCarll3 karma

Thank you. I appreciate that.

I've toured with Jason Isbell but we've never written together. I think that would be a blast.

And I would love to just be in the room with Bob Dylan or Willie.

Gready4133 karma

Saw you cold at Merlefest one year and immediately became a fan. I love how raw and honest your songwriting and performances are.

Have you seen the new A Star Is Born and if so what did you think as a huge Kris Kristofferson fan ?

Is it harder to write good new material when you are happy?

Check out my girl Danielle MF Howle some time. I think you would dig her music.


Cant wait for the new album.

HayesCarll2 karma

Thanks. Merlefest was awesome!

I loved A Star Is Born. It hit me way harder than I thought it would.

I think it's harder to write songs about how miserable you are when you're happy. If that's your best material then maybe that can be a problem. But I think learning how to channel whatever emotion your feeling into your craft is a way better way to go than just waiting around for a depression so you have something to write about.

I've played with Danielle before. She's great!

Johnnyfalcon693 karma

Favorite Townes song?

HayesCarll5 karma

Loretta, or To Live Is To Fly.

CowboyJT2 karma

Any chance of coming up to Springfield MO anytime? A lot of guy like Cody, Stoney, and Randy Rogers have been making the trip and packing the place. Also I'm 42 and started doing some gigs with a lot of my own material, do you have any advice for somebody my age starting out?

HayesCarll3 karma

I used to get out to Springfield now and then. I would like to again. What's a good place to play these days?

Practice, practice, practice. Then get out and play every chance you get. Good luck.

themagickid5122 karma

Any new merch coming up?

HayesCarll3 karma

Yes. I've got a whole slew of things that will be up on the site sometime this week. It's really cool, if I do say so myself.

memphistiger022 karma

Do you ever talk to Scott anymore?

HayesCarll3 karma

Scott Davis? Every once in a while. And I stalk him on Instagram.

furryfuzzbear2 karma

Is there any good way for a wannabe songwriter such as myself, to approach an established artist such as yourself?

I want to share my songs with artists that I think may like them, but I have met several and can't bring myself to bring it up. It seems like you would get bothered by this type of stuff all the time. Is that the case?

P.S. I caught your show at Steamboat with John Evans and Corb Lund and it exceeded my high expectations. I appreciate all of your hard work.

HayesCarll2 karma

That's a great question. I always erred on the side of I would rather my heroes not know who I am than they know me as the annoying guy who was pushing his songs on them. I totally get the temptation to get your stuff in front of people (full disclosure, I mailed some lyrics to Jimmy Buffett when I was fifteen) but the truth is that anyone in this business has a lot going on and a shit ton of songs in their world. If they want to hear what you're doing they will ask. if they do then by all means hand that shit over. But until they do I think it's better to let it go until the time is right. But that's just how I've approached it. If what you've got is great it will find a way to people who should be hearing it.

brian1brian2 karma

What’s your favorite book? And, will you be back in upstate NY anytime this year?

HayesCarll2 karma

It's tough to pick a favorite.

something my Milan Kundera or John Irving.

mandyw1232 karma

My fiance and I were talking about singer's distinctive voices the other day and how much we like them. We think yours is really soulful and emotional. Did you face rejection in your career because your voice isn't typical? (My ex husband hated Willie Nelson's voice. I should have known then it was a bad match)

HayesCarll3 karma

Thanks for the question and the kind words. It took me a long time to think of myself as a singer. I loved to sing I just didn't think I was particularly good at it. But it brought me joy so I kept at it. It also was a necessity because it was the only way I felt like my songs could be heard by anyone.

And yeah, it's probably not a good idea to marry anyone who can't appreciate Willie.

DocWalter2 karma

What is the most annoying thing fans do when they meet or recognize you?

HayesCarll4 karma

1) Call me by my first name. If I wanted to be called Joshua I would put my records out as Joshua.

2) When guys say "I'm not gay or nothin" before asking to take a picture.

TILostmypassword2 karma

Hey Hayes! Congrats on the new record. I love your collaborations with Corb Lund. Have you ever thought about getting a group of a few other songwriters together and working on an album together? I’m thinking something like the traveling wilburys or the highwaymen type group. Would love to hear you work on a track or two with Corb and Colter Wall!

HayesCarll3 karma

Thanks. I love that idea. I've always kicked around the concept of putting together a band of friends but never gotten too far down the road with it with the exception of The Ego Bros. with Corb and John Evans.

_Liet_Kynes2 karma

First of all, go Stros.

Do you have a favorite Texas brewery?

If you could form a modern day Highwaymen, what three other songwriters would you want in the group?

Thoughts on Ethan Hawke’s recent movie “Blaze”?

HayesCarll2 karma

Go Stros!

St. Arnolds

That's a tough one. So many great writers with such different styles. I'm gonna wuss out and pass for now.

I loved "Blaze". Ben Dickey, the actor who played Blaze will be opening up the shows for the first three months of our tour.

Ivotedforher2 karma

Hayes, may I say congrats on your recent appearance at The Opry?

HayesCarll3 karma

You may! Thanks.

swiftxcut2 karma

What’s in your guitarsinal?

HayesCarll3 karma

I have two Gibson J-45'S. One is from 2001 and one is 2011.

An Alvarez acoustic 12 string that I have converted into a baritone acoustic.

A Gibson ES 335 and Jerry Jones Baritone Electric.

jaxxTxx2 karma

Interested in how your songwriting process goes. Do you write everyday? Does the hooks come first? Or do you write a poem then edit and add music? Or does the music come first ? Thank for the reply !🍻

HayesCarll2 karma

It happens all different sorts of ways. My two main approaches are having a lyric or a title that gets me wheels turning and building off of that, or just playing music and mumbling shit until some lyric catches my ear. The latter can be a backwards way of writing sometimes but when it works it works well.

dackerdee2 karma


Any plans to come to canada? I saw you with Corb about 10 years back in Montreal. Best show ever! Also, what kind of car do you drive?

HayesCarll2 karma

Thanks. I remember that Montreal show was during a pretty brutal blizzard.

I'll be back for sure this year.

2009 Honda Accord. Bam!

kindapinkypurple2 karma

Got tickets to see you for the first time on May 21st!

Any plans to work more with Cary Ann Hearst/Shovels and Rope?

HayesCarll2 karma


I'll be playing Shovels and Rope's festival in the spring.

ADudeNamedBen332 karma

How was working with Ray Wylie Hubbard back in the day? I can only imagine the kind of impact it'd have on a person to work with such a masterful storyteller and songwriter. Thanks for all the great songs you've put out over the years, and I look forward to your future releases for decades to come.

HayesCarll4 karma

Ray was, and still is, the best. He takes the time to share what he has learned, to teach, advise, and encourage, songwriters like no one I have ever known. He really gives me an example of how I would like to be.

Thanks for the question and your kind words.

potential_hermit2 karma

I saw you at the Cactus Theater in Lubbock with Jack Ingram. You mentioned that he inspired you, but how did you make the leap from being inspired to actually doing it?

HayesCarll3 karma

By just doing it. I knew that it was my dream to write and perform music so I made a decision that I was going to give it a shot. I didn't want to be on my death bed wondering what if? So once the mind is made up the body will follow. I just started hustling, getting any opportunity I could to get on a microphone or play my songs for anyone who would listen. I don't know how to explain making a career out of it because that involves a lot of factors, but anybody can go sit on a corner and play. Anybody can go down to the bar and ask them if they can set up the corner for free and play.

BTCAlex2 karma

Hi Hayes! As an amateur country singer-songwriter who tends to write about very personal issues, I have two questions.

What song of yours was the hardest to write? Which song is the hardest to play live?

HayesCarll2 karma

The hardest to write are the ones where you really want to do justice to the people you're singing about so I pay more attention to getting every detail the way I want it.

The hardest to play live changes.

I wrote Long Way Home for a friend of mine who had passed away. The first few years it was tougher to play than it was ten years after. Songs about my son, or about Allison. Anything with a really personal element to it can get me in an emotional place. They are not technically hard to play but they can be emotionally difficult.

MrGodzillahin2 karma

Are you bothered by being a tall person with a lot of eyes on you. I'm very tall and I have trouble feeling comfortable on a stage because I know all my movements look a lot different from what a normal height person looks. For example, dance moves, big gestures etc. all look more awkward if you're tall. How do you deal with that as a singer?

HayesCarll2 karma

Ha! Yes! Exactly. I was very self conscious about it as a younger man and it makes me reticent on stage to do anything because I'm certain I look stupid.

whiskeyjane452 karma

I have a question. What is an asphalt Monkey?

That's one of my favorite songs but that line cracks me up every time

HayesCarll2 karma

I always thought of it as a backyard race-car mechanic type.

TomMinarchick2 karma

Hey Hayes, My wife and I found you when KMAG YO-YO came out. Love it and have been a fan ever since. Lovers and Leavers is such a great album too. My question is what are the most influential artists or bands to your songwriting and career? Also, what are some of your favorites to listen to for pure enjoyment that may or may not surprise fans? (Are you a Parliament-Funkadelic fan? Eddie Hazel will change your life. You’re welcome) Please play south Florida soon too

HayesCarll2 karma


My biggest influences were Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Greg Brown, Bill Morrissey, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffet, Jerry Jeff Walker, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Todd Snider, Johhny Cash, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen.

Shnittengruben2 karma

At what point did you reach out to Will Hoge to help you write 'Good while it lasted?'

HayesCarll3 karma

I don't remember how Will and I got together. It might have been through our publishers. I don't think we really knew each other before that day. One of us just came up with that title and a few hours later we had a song.

Collarbone_high2 karma

Ashamed to say i havn't been to one of your concerts in about 9yrs so forgive me that I do not know the answer to this. I went to a Corb concert last summer and while we waiting for the opening band and Corb to start, a playlist of your songs was playing. Just you. Do you pick the music that plays before a show? If you do, do you ever just play all Corb songs before a show? I gotta know. Nebraska

HayesCarll3 karma

I don't pick the music but that's because I've just been to lazy to. I'm glad you brought this up because it will make me come up with a pre-show playlist. Probably not all Corb but we'll get a song in there.

Pharmall2 karma

What is your favorite non-country song to cover?

HayesCarll7 karma

Bob Dylan - Don't Think Twice, It's Alright or Tangled Up In Blue, When I Paint My Masterpiece, pretty much any Dylan song.

littlewoodenfox2 karma

Fellow Hendrix alum here! What were some of your favorite things about your time there?

HayesCarll4 karma

That it was so small that everyone was sort of forced to hang out with each other. It led me to getting to know so many different types of people so much better than I would have at a bigger school.

farmmama19692 karma

Hi Hayes! Question: Do you think you'll come back to Pickathon at some point? Would love to see you there again. Also, any chance Allison will be singing with you on your NW dates? I've been a big fan of hers for years as well, and would love to see you perform together.

I listened to the new album on NPR and loved it! Will definitely be buying it! Also, thanks again for letting me sing Another Like You with you at the Aladdin in Portland a few years back. It was one of the best nights of my life, and I really appreciated the fact that you took a chance having me join you without hearing me sing first! Wishing you all my best...

HayesCarll2 karma

I would love to come back to Pickathon. What a cool festival.

I don't think Allison will be on the NW dates. She's a busy woman!

Thanks for the kind words about the record and for nailing the song in Portland.

DontPush102 karma

What was your opinion on 'Holler on the Hill' last year? We drove in from Chicago to see you and were shocked at how poorly attended it was. Would you do that one again?

HayesCarll3 karma

I thought it was cool, but yeah, it was a little light in the audience. But I think it's a relatively new festival and that happens sometimes. It can take a while to grow. If they keep getting lineups like they had last year it could be great. Beautiful weather and I loved that park. They took good care of us.

tonebender22 karma

Are Lloyd and Connie going to be at your show at the Troubadour? I got their autographs about 10 years ago at McCabe's, they're swell.

HayesCarll2 karma

Ha! No, I don't think so. And I really don't remember them being at McCabe's but I was also sick that night so I may have forgotten. I hope my parents don't have impostors.