Adam Carroll is far from a household name. Even in his native Texas, he may not carry the recognition of Lone Star singer-songwriters James McMurtry or Hayes Carll. But it speaks volumes to his talent that those two artists, and many more, all contribute to a new homage to Carroll. Highway Prayer: A Tribute to Adam Carroll places some of his most evocative lyrics in the hands of those he’s influenced.
For McMurtry, it’s Carroll’s “Screen Door,” a story-song that evokes his own work, delivered in his inimitable sing-speak style. (Listen to the song below.) In McMurtry’s eyes, Carroll is akin to a far more famous Texas tunesmith.
“Adam Carroll is like a very young Kris Kristofferson. He writes about things that are older than me,” says McMurtry, who jumped onboard the tribute project to help shine a light on the under-the-radar artist. “You get a bunch of guys who more people have heard of to sing someone’s songs, it maybe makes their stock go up. Which is okay by me.”
Along with McMurtry and Carll, Slaid Cleaves, Band of Heathens, Jason Eady, and Tim Easton and Aaron Lee Tasjan all interpret Carroll’s songs. It’s a diverse group, united by a shared appreciation of a writer who may be only 42, but who, as McMurtry suggests, is talented beyond his years.
Highway Prayer will be released October 28th. Here’s the album’s complete track list:
1. “Screen Door,” James McMurtry
2. “Girl With the Dirty Hair,” Hayes Carll
3. “South of Town,” Slaid Cleaves
4. “Oklahoma Gypsy Shuffler,” Band of Heathens
5. “Hi Fi Love,” Jamie Lin Wilson
6. “Lil’ Runaway,” Verlon Thompson
7. “Rain,” Scott Nolan
8. “Old Town Rock N Roll,” Matt the Electrician
9. “Black Flag Blues,” Tim Easton and Aaron Lee Tasjan
10. “Smoky Mountain Taxi,” Danny Barnes
11. “Errol’s Song,” Jason Eady
12. “Red Bandana Blues,” Terri Hendrix
13. “Home Again,” Mando Saenz
14. “Highway Prayer,” Walt Wilkins
15. “My Only Good Shirt,” Adam Carroll