Soon Carll began to play songwriter clubs like the Old Quarter, Galveston’s counterpart to the Ark, along with the bars. With Hubbard he cowrote “Drunken Poet’s Dream,” containing this vivid moment of dissolution:
Wine bottles scattered like last night’s clothes,
Cigarette papers and dominoes.
She laughs for a minute about the shape I’m in,
Says, “You be the sinner, honey, and I’ll be the sin.”
From Canadian songwriter Scott Nolan, who’ll be opening Carll’s show at the Ark on Tuesday, June 9 (see , he takes a song about a woman whose love is “like tornado weather.” That song is called “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart”—the name of a Tom Waits song, but an entirely different composition. (He also sings an actual Waits tune, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.”) Other lyrical motifs wind through his music, including the old blues phrase “trouble in mind,” which provides the title for Carll’s latest album.