Written by Eddie Ferranti

116What a nice present Rose & I received over the holidays with a gig featuring two old buds we have supported for years.  Hayes Carll returned to the ultra fine confines of McGonigels Mucky Duck for four sold out shows with drum wizard Mike Meadows in tow.  It has been years since Carll’s Stingaree Fests took place in Crystal Beach, Texas and it was nice to see he still had it going on in his own tongue in cheek style. His “aw shucks” appeal and dry sly sense of humor works really well in a small venue like this one.
HC put out his fifth album, “Lovers and Leavers “, in 2016 which was a more stripped down effort.  He described it as “a non-funny or raucous album with very few hoots and almost no hollers. A reflection of a specific time and place quiet like I wanted it to be.” Amen bro.
101Other than “Magic Kid” about his child , this night consisted mostly of tunes culled from his first four discs.  Epic ones like “Girl Downtown” with the ketchup on her shirt, all the way from “Beaumont” with a white rose in hand, “Wild As a Turkey”, and “It’s a Shame” with killer mouth harp jam with Meadows. Carll has a talent to mesh Americana, Texas country and honky tonk and make it sound all his. I have to admit it comes thru a lot better with a full band , but show stealers like “Little Rock”, smokin’ “Jesus and Elvis” and “Hard Out There” brought out what a bad dude Mr. Meadows is!  The man is incredible.  His credits include co-inventor of The Black Swan drum and co-founder of Swan Percussion. He has just completed a Porterdavis album “9 Lives” and backs so many musicians that you’ll have to visit www.meadowsdrums.com to scan the impressive list!  MM is still out with Hayes and soon will head over the pond to the UK and other locales with Shawn Colvin plus Sam Baker.
Hayes pulled a new chestnut for the adoring crowd at Christmas called “My Pointy Finger” about judgemental people complete with a dance with his fingers!  Epic Carll for sure.  It is hard to believe the same dude from the Woodlands that we saw using a squeegee to clean the stage and driving a pick up van @ Stingaree has now been doing it for over fifteen plus years.  He has flirted with the big time and performed all over the world, but to this reviewer this type of stage is where he belongs. Showcasing his down home Texas tunes to the good loyal fans back home………..He will back to this club in February and March!!
Eddie “Edge” Ferranti

Senior Editor

Houston Music Review