Hayes Carll follows in the maverick Texas singer/songwriter country-folk style of Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Ray Wylie Hubbard.
I’m a singer-songwriter. I think “Lovers and Leavers” comes closer to reflecting that than any other record I’ve made. I didn’t worry about checking boxes, making sure there was something here for everybody, or getting on the radio. I just took some much needed deep breaths and let them out on tape.
It’s been a while since my last album by some measurements of time. Not “history of the universe time”, or “getting a bill through congress time”, but in the lives of dogs and recording artists, five years and fifty-three days is only a little less than an eternity. I went through a divorce. I fell in love. Changes were made, realizations were realized, and life was lived. But, I kept on writing songs, on my own and with a cast of accomplished characters who combined their own stories and with these songs in hand, I needed a co-conspirator to help me get them to you. I called on Joe Henry, a gentleman poet and an elegant artist who seemed a trustworthy steward for my collection. We recorded this record live in five days, using just an acoustic guitar, a mix of bass, percussion, pianos and organs, and a touch of pedal steel.
“Lovers and Leavers” isn’t funny or raucous. There are very few hoots and almost no hollers. But it is joyous, and it makes me smile.
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