Best Band to Leave Houston in the Past Year Houston 2006 - Hayes Carll
Steve Earle once wrote a song in which he called Townes Van Zandt "the last of the hardcore troubadours." But Earle hadn't yet heard Hayes Carll. While Carll isn't quite as hardcore as Van Zandt -- no epic vodka bouts or heroin binges, as far as we know -- he's very much the real deal as a troubadour. His life is his music, and his music is his life. And it always did seem that it would just be a matter of time before Carll -- a native of The Woodlands and a former resident of Bolivar and Galveston -- would head out to conquer the world. This year he inked a deal with Nashville major-label imprint Lost Highway and took the well-worn road to Austin, where he set up shop near Dripping Springs.