For nearly two decades, Hayes Carll has been making consistently great singer-songwriter records, influenced by the back-porch songcraft of Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. While off the road in Nashville for his longest stretch in years, Carll had the chance to revisit some of his best material — which he reimagines on a new acoustic album, Alone Together Sessions, out September 4th on Dualtone.
“It’s probably good to pause every now and then, to take stock of everything,” Carll said in a statement, talking about returning to his older material in the studio. “When you make your living playing out there for people, you’re constantly in motion. That momentum doesn’t leave much time for thinking about what happened, let alone what it all means. How often does someone get to go back in, change the rhythms, turn up guitars, shift the perspective of a lyric or the delivery of a vocal? The more I sang these songs, the more I learned about them.”
Carll teamed up with his friend, songwriter-producer Darrell Scott, to record new versions of songs going all the way back to 2002’s “Arkansas Blues,” a haunting ballad about touring while trying to escape old love on the road. The new interpretation of the song is looser and more conversational.
The album also includes a soulful cover of Lefty Frizzell’s “That’s the Way Love Goes,” which Carll sings with his wife, singer-songwriter Allison Moorer. Ray Wylie Hubbard guests on a wildly fun, raw take on 2008’s “Drunken Poet’s Song,” which Hubbard co-wrote. Together, they turn it into an Irish-tinged pub throwdown.
Carll has been hosting Alone Together Tuesday, a livestream from his house. The next episode is August 18th at 6 p.m. CT.
Alone Together Sessions track list:
1. “Arkansas Blues”
2. “Drunken Poet’s Dream”
3. “Times Like These”
4. “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart”
5. “Down the Road Tonight”
6. “That’s the Way Love Goes”
7. “KMAG YOYO”
8. “Bye Bye Baby”
9. “Sake of the Song”
11. “Wild As a Turkey”