maybe the religious center-right. The song propelled Carll to national consideration, and it was in every sense a smart move.
But it’s catchy enough that it could also become the kind of song that boxes an artist in, and it would be a shame if that happened to Carll. He came up in the party bars of the Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston—“playin’ for my supper six nights a week, hurricanes, Easter, and New Year’s Eve,” he recalls in “I Got a Gig.” Of the young songwriters working in Texas right now, he may be the most successful at picking up on the rowdy strain in the tradition, rather than the quiet poetry of Townes Van Zandt that so many young country-oriented songwriters favor. His models are Robert Earl Keen, who gives him a fearless cynical edge, and his early backer Ray Wylie Hubbard.