Friday Night: Hayes Carll's Burlesque Circus & Sideshow Freakout at House of Blues
|L-R: "Ego Brothers" John Evans, Hayes Carll and Corb Lund|
Just as funny was Lund, who might as well be Carll's Canadian fraternal twin. His opening set shared some of Carll's talking Highway 61 blonde on blonde blues, with more rockabilly and swing and a side of cows, motorcycles, goth girls and cavalry officers. "There weren't enough chicks at our shows, so I made a record of military-history songs," he quipped. (Indeed he did, 2007's Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier!)
Now, being a "Burlesque Circus and Sideshow Freakout," there was a little more to it than that. Long, tall John Evans flitted around, emceed the costume contest before Carll's set, and joined his old buddy for "The Grand Parade" and "Ain't Enough of Me to Go Around," in which Carll and Evans inducted Lund into their "Ego Brothers" fraternity.
Carll also brought up Evans' old friend and collaborator, Austin singer Emily Bell, for a lovely duet he said was a new song, one of the evening's few slow numbers. Later Kam Franklin of Houston's own Suffers put her hefty pipes behind Carll's pointed sexual-politics debate "Another Like You."
The encore featured the whole shootin' match onstage as Carll slung verses with the Tramps' Craig Kinsey on a punched-up version of Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm," and then everyone did "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" as a New Orleans second-line parade number. There was even a jester on stilts up there, but at that point I didn't even bat an eyelash.
Oh, and did I mention there were burlesque dancers? In fact, I think there may even be a picture around here somewhere.