So far, Hayes Carll hasnt come close to Willie Nelsons stylistic free-ranging through jazz, Western swing and classic pop, but there are similarities between the two Texans. Theyre each formidable, distinctive singers and songwriters (Carlls soulful drawl curls like rawhide), irreverent in their own good-natured ways, and theyve both entertained doubts about entrusting their music to industry folks. Carll started out indie but eventually went with Lost Highway for last years literate honky-tonk-and-roll set Trouble In Mind. And just like Nelson has an annual 4th of July picnic, Carllwith a similar laid-back charismais cultivating his own good-time, community-building gathering of Texas musicians and fans at an out-of-the-way locale: the Stingaree Music Festival, held just last month in Crystal Beach, Texas, with likeminded acts Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jesse Dayton and Ryan Bingham. Who knows? They might just be the next Highwaymen.
Sat., June 20, 6 p.m., 2009