[[SOLD OUT]] eTown Live Radio Show Taping w/ Hayes Carll & Wild Child
- When: January 31, 2016 Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
- Where: eTOWN HALL / 1535 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO 80302
- Cost: $25 Plus applicable service fees
- Share:SOLD OUT
More than just a regular concert, eTown is a unique live experience! Audience members will watch the eTown Broadcast recorded before their very eyes, complete with performances and interviews with both of our visiting artists, as well as the eChievement Award segment, eTown's opportunity to honor everyday heroes who are doing their part to make the world a better place. You won't want to miss it!
Show Start: 7:00pm
Show End: 9:00pm
Hayes Carll is an odd mix. Wildly literate, utterly slackerly, impossibly romantic, absolutely a slave to the music, the 35-year old Texan is completely committed to the truth and unafraid to skewer pomposity, hypocrisy and small-minded thinking.
In a world of shallow and shallower, where it’s all groove and gloss, that might seem a hopeless proposition. Last year, “Another Like You,” Carll’s stereotype’s attract duet of polar opposites, was American Songwriter’s #1 Song of 2011 – and KMAG YOYO was the Americana Music Association’s #1 Album, as well as making Best of Lists for Rolling Stone, SPIN and a New York Times Critics Choice.
But more importantly than the critical acclaim is the way Carll connects with music lovers across genres lines. Playing rock clubs and honkytonks, Bonnaroo, Stones Fest, SXSW and NXNE, he and his band the Gulf Coast Orchestra merge a truculent singer/songwriter take that combines Ray Wylie Hubband’s lean freewheeling squalor with Todd Snider’s brazen Gen Y reality and a healthy dose of love amongst unhealthy people.
“I guess you could say I write degenerate love songs,” Carll says. “That, and songs about people who’re wedged between not much and even less; people who see how hopeless it is and somehow make it work anyway. “And the best kind of irony, sometimes, is applying no irony and letting reality do the work.”
Letting reality do the work has sure worked for the lanky Texan who walks slow and talks slower. Born in Houston, he went to college at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas – getting a degree in History, then heading back to Crystal Beach to play for a wild assortment of people either hiding out, hanging on or getting lost in the bars along Texas’ Gulf coast.
After releasing Flowers & Liquor in 2002, Carll was voted the Best New Artist of 2002 by The Houston Post. He would go on to release Little Rock, on his own Highway 87 label, which became the first self-owned project to the top the Americana charts.
It wasn’t long until Lost Highway, home of Lucinda Williams, Ryan Adams, Van Morrison and the Drive-By Truckers came calling. Trouble in Mind yielded the tongue firmly in cheek “She Left Me For Jesus,” a know-nothing redneck send-up/beer joint anthem somewhere between “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” and “Up Against the Wall.” “Jesus” was the 2008 Americana Music Awards Song of the Year.
All the accolades, all the facts and all the stats are awesome, but they don’t tell the story. Fiercely individual, Carll’s banged-up take on classic country is honed by the road – sometimes as a man and guitar, sometimes with his scrappy band, but always taking in the vistas and humanity before him.
“It comes down to the songs and the people,” he says. “You write about what you see, the things that cross your mind… and then you wanna get out there and play it back to ‘em. You kinda know how you’re doing when you see how the people respond.”
Hayes Carll is the transmutable jester whose incisive songs and funky beats play as well in shitkicker bars as they do hippie festivals, somewhere as organic as American Public Radio’s “Mountain Stage” concert series and middle America as “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”
Maybe it’s the influences – Kerouac, Dylan, Guy Clark, John Prine, Hubbard… Maybe it’s the fact that somebody has to say something… Maybe it’s just the fact that some people are born to play…
But for whatever reason, ten years into a recording career, Hayes Carll shows no signs of having arrived at his creative apex. Each album expands on his already extreme vintage country, extreme thumping bad road boogie, extreme heartbroken ache – and finds new ways to take on the fate of the nation. Whether it’s the GI protagonist in the propulsive title track of KMAG YOYO, the train wreck objet d’amour of “Drunken Poet’s Dream,” also recorded by Hubbard, the road warrior of both “I Got A Gig” and “Little Rock” or the stoner liberal and the uptight Republican vixen of “Another Like You,” Carll paints vivid pictures of humanity as it really is.
Thick-headed. Avaricious. Squalid. Hungry. Angry. Getting by.
Like so many Texans before him, there’s no agony in the ecstasy – just the wonder of capturing the perfect character in the song. When you’re 6 beers down on a 12 pack night, you know Hayes Carll understands. At a time like that – whether in your own backyard or some jam-packed bar – that’s the best kind of friend to have.
Wild Child doesn’t want a place to hide. Song after song, town after town, they’ll wear their hearts on their sleeves, addicted to the rush that only comes when thousands of strangers know all your secrets and sing them back to you, because they’re their secrets, too.
“It’s not necessarily the performing that’s addictive, but being able to connect with that many people at once,” says Kelsey Wilson, who shares lead vocal and songwriting responsibilities for the Austin-based seven-piece band with Alexander Beggins. “You feel like you’re together in something––like you experience the whole thing together. It’s family therapy with a lot of dancing.”
Wild Child’s third album Fools (out via Dualtone Records) is an ambitious collection of lush pop that takes sad stories and transforms them into an ebullient love letter to the power of music and the art of living with yourself.
Made up of Kelsey on violin and vocals, Alexander on ukulele and vocals, Evan Magers on keyboards, Sadie Wolfe on cello, Chris D’Annunzio on bass, Drew Brunetti on drums, and Matt Bradshaw on trumpet, Wild Child has built a sprawling grassroots following on the strength of high-spirited live shows that feel like self-contained joy benders, along with two precocious albums.
2011’s Pillow Talk notched four no. 1 singles on indie pulse monitor Hype Machine, spurred on by music bloggers who fell early and hard for the quirky group. 2013’s The Runaround upped the ante, making best-of lists and garnering glowing reviews and write-ups from NPR, Paste, Pop Matters, and many others. Then Wild Child hit TV, performing on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and serving as the featured artists on CBS Saturday Morning. Since forming five years ago after Kelsey and Alexander met during a stint as members of a backup band for a Danish artist’s U.S. tour, Wild Child has gone from playing shows for nine people to selling out venues across North America and Europe.
Not bad for an indie outfit who, up until now, has been thriving without radio spins or record label muscle. And it all started when two Texas kids too scared to sing for crowds discovered they wrote hauntingly good songs together.
Wild Child recorded Fools at Doll House Studios in Savannah, Georgia. Produced by Peter Mavrogeorgis and David Plakon with additional tracks helmed by red-letter guest producers Max Frost (“Break Bones”) and Chris “Frenchie” Smith (“Trillo Talk”), Fools reveals that while Austin’s favorite gang of lost boys and girls have grown up to become fiercely skilled musicians who have charmed the world, their faces remain grinning and often painted, spirits stubborn and free, barbs sharp and cathartic.
While writing for the album, Kelsey split from her fiancé of five years, then watched as her parents divorced. “It was the first time that I’d ever had writer’s block,” she remembers. “Within a week, all of the lyrics just came out.”
“She used this album as a platform to say a lot of things she wanted to say,” Alexander says. “It’s a story that’s not exactly linear, but you hear someone going through something.”
Kelsey and Alexander co-wrote all of the record’s songs, while the title track was penned by the entire band––a first for the group. A complexly layered, funky gem, “Fools” saunters as Kelsey and Alexander sigh, “If you have to go / I’ll play the fool,” a sly acknowledgement that no matter what else is going on in the relationship, it’d be easier to hold on than to let it fall apart.
The act of consciously playing the fool shows up repeatedly throughout the record, and Wild Child flaunts a postmodern comfort with perspective’s slippery grip on truth. “The Cracks” pulses with uncertainty as Kelsey delicately cries, “You went too far, went way too far / We went too far, went way too far,” while in “Bullets,” she croons, “I know you think I took a lot from you.” “Meadows” asks a lover how much they’re willing to sacrifice, while “Take It” and “Reno” tackle separation and trust.
The sole purely exuberant note on the album, “Bad Girl” is a Motown-inspired celebration of the birth of Kelsey’s first niece. “Oklahoma,” a harmony-soaked strings showcase that kicks off with an electro-pop tease, was slated for The Runaround but didn’t quite fit until Fools. Originally intended for Pillow Talk, “Stones” was mined from lyrics Kelsey penned when she was 15 years old. Now, it’s part bubbly piano-man ramble, part sweeping string-led drama, capped off by a brassy New Orleans breakdown––a perfect example of the band’s increasingly virtuosic ability to stretch and crisply fold genres into their ever-expanding repertoire.
“Break Bones” is a stunner––a big, bold, beautiful pop song praying a fight continues indefinitely, because that’s all that’s left. “Trillo Talk,” a last minute addition to the record and an ideal closer, winks to fan favorites “Pillow Talk” and “RilloTalk” and soars triumphantly. “It’s the last thought––everything is going to be okay…but it’s not. But, it feels alright,” Alexander says.
Vocally, Alexander strolls, steady and wry, as Kelsey skips, runs, and hops, all whirly energy and instinctive phrasing. “I think my voice just sits nice underneath hers,” Alexander says, simply and accurately. “The two of us never really intended to be singers and still don’t really consider ourselves singers,” says Kelsey, without a hint of irony. NPR’s Ann Powers likened her voice to that of a “Jazz Age Broadway baby,” but bring up that and other praise, and Kelsey just laughs and emphasizes, “I don’t think of myself as a singer. I think of it just like talking. We’re just having a conversation.”
In their musical repartee, Wild Child doesn’t pull punches. Their songs sting as they groove, cutting lyrics massaged by cooing vocals and bouncy ukulele. So we’re dancing and laughing before we realize we’ve got tears in our eyes, entranced by Wild Child’s dizzying contradiction: sour truths that sound so sweet.
“The instruments may belong in a granola commercial, but what we’re saying is often dark and angry and bitter,” says Kelsey. “It wasn’t until Alexander and I started writing music together that we were like, ‘Damn. Are we sad?’”
“There is a beauty in lyric writing that is almost too honest,” Alexander says. “We’ve always tried to poke holes in that terrible thing that nobody really wants to think about.”
Fools is an unashamed breakup album, but it’s more than last rites for lovers. The record also bids farewell to the traditional lives Kelsey and Alexander had thought lie in store.
“We’re about to live day to day for a long time, and our relationships are going to fall apart,” Kelsey says. “Our home lives are going to fall apart. And there’s nothing we can do about it. So, the record is also about letting go of expectations, just playing the fool. Fools is a release––a blind step out.”