Former kid from the Woodlands, Hayes Carll was steadfast in pursuit of a singer-songwriter career

from The Statesman on

Hayes Carll has a story that elicits a slight wince but nevertheless encapsulates why the 34-year-old Texas troubadour has clawed his way to the top of the ranks of up-and-coming singer-songwriters.

Reclining comfortably in the cozy Northwest Austin home he shares with his wife and 7-year-old son, Carll sets the scene: It's the early '90s, and the teenage Hayes is goofing off during a trip to Key West, Fla., when he spies a homeless man on the street picking at a beat-up guitar. Carll wanders over to strike up a conversation.

"To me, this was the coolest thing anybody could be doing. I mean, he was playing guitar and people were giving him money," says Carll. "I didn't factor in that that was all he had, and I was sitting there trying to riff with him about what a cool life he was living."

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