Hayes Carll releases the Alone Together Sessions on September 4th, a collection of his songs reimagined as stripped-down acoustic numbers. In some cases, the songs stay true to form, but others are drastically different. Like “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart,” which the Texas songwriter premieres Wednesday.
As it appears on Carll’s 2008 album Trouble in Mind, “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart” is a roadhouse rocker, equal parts Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones and Georgia Satellites twang. On the Alone Together Sessions, it’s practically a dirge, with haunting harmonies from Allison Moorer.
“When I recorded it for Trouble in Mind, I spent a lot of time trying to turn it into an anthemic rocker. This time around I just let it be what it is — a great song full of melancholy and utter truth,” Carll tells Rolling Stone of the song about the rigors of touring, written by Scott Nolan.
“A friend played ‘Bad Liver and a Broken Heart’ for me around a campfire over 15 years ago. It struck me as one of those perfect songs full of memorable lines that capture what the road is really like,” he says. “It gives the listener a glimmer of the showman’s life — the relationships that exist only in that specific parallel universe, the joy of the moments that make the slog of traveling from town to town worth it, the emptiness of the rest of it — and wraps it all around a killer hook.”
Along with “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart” and “Down the Road Tonight,” which he released earlier this month, the Alone Together Sessions include 2011’s KMAG YOYO‘s title track and the Trouble in Mind songs “Beaumont,” “Wild as a Turkey,” and “Drunken Poet’s Dream,” with the song’s co-writer Ray Wylie Hubbard.