Joshua Hayes Carll, known as Hayes Carll, is a singer-songwriter from The Woodlands, Texas (a Houston suburb). He is currently signed to Lost Highway Records.
Carll got his first guitar at age 15. He began writing songs influenced by Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, Jack Kerouac and Dead Poets Society. After graduating from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas in 1998 with a degree in History, he moved to Crystal Beach, Texas, where he performed his own songs at local bars.
Carll left Crystal Beach and moved to Austin, where, despite the thriving music scene, success eluded him. Carll left Austin and returned home, playing regularly at McGonigel's Mucky Duck and other places in Houston and Galveston. He developed a following, then signed a one-record contract with Compadre Records, which released his debut Flowers and Liquor in 2002. Embraced by critics, the album garnered comparisons to Townes Van Zandt. The Houston Press named him the best folk act and best new artist of 2002. Carll's songs combined ragged tunes with autobiographical lyrics, including themes about lazy solitude, strumming his guitar, and drowning his sorrows in alcohol.
After turning down a multi-album deal from Sugar Hill Records, he released his second album, Little Rock under his own label, Highway 87 Records. It was produced by notable country music figure R.S. Field. It became the first self-released album to reach number one on the Americana music charts. In May 2006, Carll announced that he had signed with Lost Highway records.
Hayes has written songs with Ray Wylie Hubbard and Guy Clark. Carll has found success on the national Americana radio charts, receiving an Americana Music Award in 2008. "She Left Me for Jesus" co-written with Brian Keane, appearing on Trouble in Mind, which Carll released on the Lost Highway label. He is considered an important figure in the resurgence of Texas songwriters, writing in the Dylan-influenced tradition of Clark and Townes Van Zandt.
Hayes recently appeared on Austin City Limits, August 4th 2010.