Hayes Carll's last album, Trouble In Mind, was well-loved and well-received by critics and fans across the Americana blogosphere. Now, he's following it up with KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories) - a disc which was described on this site by Dustin Ogdin as "a reminder that country music is not dead yet, despite Nashville’s best efforts to smother it in hair gel and software plug-ins."
On Feb. 14, we asked you to submit your questions for a special interview contest with Hayes Carll. Now, Hayes has chosen his ten favorite questions, sent us his answers, and the lucky community members whose questions were chosen will be receiving a special prize pack in the mail.
And now, without further ado, we present Hayes' answers to your questions:
1) Have you ever seen a Fred Eaglesmith show? (Dan Burton)
I've seen a bunch of Fred shows and played quite a few with him as well. Vermont, Texas and all over Canada. I once rode on a train with him through the Canadian Rockies for a week.
Fred is one of my favorite writers/entertainers and getting to know him and his crowd has helped me out immensely over the years.
2) Compared to earlier albums KMAG YOYO turns away from the singer/songwriter style and draws much more from traditional instruments such as banjo or lap steel. When you perfomlive with a band will the earlier songs get a makeover or will the KMAG YOYO songs get the two guitars/bass/drums treatment? Or neither? (Final Harvest)
I'll play the new stuff fairly close to the record and probably re-work older songs. The band is pretty flexible so we can go stripped down and acoustic, or plugged in and crankin'. I like to do both and to change it up as we go with different instruments or arrangements. It get's old in a hurry if you do the same thing for too long.
3) How did you hook up (musically speaking of course) with Cary Ann Hearst? You don't hear a whole lot about her, but she is amazing. Saw her about six years ago when she was just a youngin' at this little bar in Winston-Salem, before it got shot up and shut down forever (not on that particular night of course) she blew my mind - sure packs a wallop for a little gal. (Fisher Coan)
I first met Cary Ann when I did a show with her in Charleston, SC, and she is an unbelievable singer. She reminds me of Loretta Lynn if Loretta Lynn was in a punk band. Her version of "Dresden Snow" from the basement in Nashville makes me cry every time I hear it.
4) What is your most favorite but lesser known band? (Paul Grubbs)
The John Evans Band.
5) While on the road, where is your favorite place to use the restroom? (Sean Johnson)
Excellent question about an often overlooked issue. My guitar player Scott Davis and I are actually coming up with an ap rating all the bathrooms in the States. I'm hoping to retire on the profits. Scott is also doing a coffee table book of his favorite restrooms. We obviously spend way too much time on the road.
6) I have thought for some time that you and Todd Snider were the two best song writers out there . How did his appearance on "Bottle In My Hand" come about ? (Tony Ray James)
Todd is probably my favorite artist working today. When I wrote the song, I thought it would be great to get him and another favorite of mine, Corb Lund, to sing on it. Corb cut his part from Canada and Todd just stopped by the studio in Nashville. He threw in the background whistling for free.
7) The name of your band is The Poor Choices. The name of badass Winnipeg roots-rocker Andrew Neville's band, who often hold court at Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club - a venue you've been known to frequent - is also called The Poor Choices. COINCIDENCE?? (Stu Reid)
No, it is not a coincidence. I know Andrew and his merry band of rockers from hanging out in Winnipeg. The Times Change is one of the world’s best bars, by the way. I've always had crap band names (like Hayes and the Hayseeds) and was jealous of the Poor Choices. Andrew and the boys were kind enough to let me share the name with them. But, after a few weeks of trying it out, I realize it just doesn't work for me. For one thing, at least one of my band members is a mediocre choice, and it seemed unfair to downgrade him with the rest of the guys. I'm going back to my first band name that I used when I was a folk trio: "The Gulf Coast Orchestra."
8) I recently saw you open for Levon Helm at his world famous Midnight Ramble in Woodstock, NY. Rumor has it you did a little recording there, too? What can you tell us about that? (Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons)
Levon may be the all-time coolest human. He just personafies "groove". We got to do the Midnight Ramble and then came back the next day for Amy Helms' 3-year-old's birthday party. Levon Helm and Donald Fagan were jamming out to a room of three year-olds. We came over the day after that to record a song and it wast just incredibly cool. Levon and everyone that works over him were incredibly kind and generous. For those who have never been to a Midnight Ramble, add it to your bucket list.
9) You got to play Austin City Limits with Robert Earl Keen. What was that experience like, and what impact has ACL had on you? (Sygner Malcomb)
I grew up watching ACL, and it's where I discovered so many of the people that turned into huge influences. The intimacy of the show was always what got me as a fan. it always seemed like you were in a living room watching these amazing artists do their thing. To get to perform on it, and to have Ray Wylie Hubbard come join me, were high up there on the career highlight list. We also had a killer after-party, which seemed like a very rock and roll thing to do.
10) Hayes, my birthday is February 28th. Wouldn't you like to give me the best present of all for my 53rd birthday? (Tom)
I'd like to, but my wife might get upset. You can have a record, though.