The first time we saw Adam Carroll, he was an unknown opening for one of the rowdiest, loudest bands on the scene at that time, Mark David Manders's group at Austin's La Zona Rosa. When Carroll walked onstage with nothing but a cigarette and an acoustic guitar, we thought, "This guy doesn't stand a chance in here with this crowd." Yet two songs into his set, Carroll had won them all over, and the place quieted down to hear his quirky, earthy lyrics about Louisiana rice farms, drunken shrimpers, barroom brawls and beaten-down women of the night. Carroll just released Live at Flipnotics, and it recaps what fans would refer to as his "hits": the heart-rending "Highway Prayer," "Rice Birds," "Girl With the Dirty Hair" and his signature "Red Bandanna Blues." Recorded at funky little Austin dive Flipnotics with producer Scrappy Jud Newcomb on guitar, the second live album of Carroll's 11-year career makes a perfect (if belated) introduction to one of the hippest songwriters on the Texas music landscape.
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