Friday Night: Hayes Carll's Burlesque Circus & Sideshow Freakout at House of Blues


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L-R: "Ego Brothers" John Evans, Hayes Carll and Corb Lund
Besides his unusually witty gift for language, Carll's songs convey the lifestyle of a road-dog musician who spends entirely too much time in the company of other musicians and not enough time among his loved ones with the kind of empathy many of his peers can't. His shaggy-dog delivery and wry sense of humor help disguise the more degenerate elements of said lifestyle that lurk on the margins -- but, you know, every once in while you wind up with two girls in the same bed. Who hasn't?

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!)

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Kam Franklin
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.


Location Info

House of Blues

1204 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music


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3 comments
allthingsali
allthingsali

@hayescarll YAAAAAAAY! I hope the airline peeps don't look into my suitcase! #whips #costumes #jackdaniels

hprocksoff
hprocksoff

@hayescarll Your guyliner was awesome. Fun show!

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