Hard Out Here
Label: Lost Highway Records
Hayes Carll is one cheeky guy, letting loose the kind of searing, often political, diatribes that call to mind wordsmiths like Bob Dylan and John Prine. Acerbic lines ("They say 'Boy you ain't a poet, just a drunk with a pen'") are wrapped around shuffling beats and sliding guitars that twang and chime. Carll channels Willie Nelson on the poignant heartbreaker "Chances Are," while the Dylan-esque "KMAG YOYO" is a blistering take on the war in Afghanistan. Highlight "Another Like You" features a throaty Cary Ann Hearst as the irresistibly sexy, right-wing foil to Carll's blue-collar drawl.