Rocks Off: What were the highlights of 2008 for you as an artist?
Hayes Carll: The Stingaree Music Festival, playing the Fillmore in San Francisco, and playing on the Later with Jools Holland show on BBC television in London.
RO: Low points?
HC: Hurricane Ike wiping out Bolivar and Willie P. Bennett, Fred Eaglesmith's longtime mandolin player, passing away.
HP: What's the funniest thing that happened at a gig this year?
HC: Just the other day at the Lighting of the Doves Christmas show in The Woodlands, I heard this little girl in the front row ask, "Mommy, what's mescalene?" That's when I realized my lyrics aren't always appropriate for six-year-olds
HP: You always tour a lot. What was the worst thing that happened on the road this year?
HC: I thought it would be funny to streak the Old 97's at The Fillmore in San Francisco. It wasn't.
HP: Favorite albums of 2008?
HC: Corb Lund's Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier!, because he took possibly the least rock and roll subject he could find, the cavalry, and made a great record out of it. That's like writing about chickens or something. I also loved Adam Carroll's Old Time Rock and Roll. Just because.
HP: What's on tap for 2009?
HC: We're set to go out with the Drive-By Truckers and with Robert Earl Keen. We're also going to spend more time in Canada, and we plan to throw another Stingaree Festival. We're going to try to make another record. Other than that, I'm just gonna sit around in my hot tub and count money.
HP: What are the plans for next album?
HC: There's nothing defintite yet. I'm just writing songs right now.
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HP: "She Left Me for Jesus" was a huge thing for you in '08, winning the Americana Music Association's top song of the year. Do you have any more Jesus songs up your sleeve?
HC: No, although I've got a ballad called "Move Over Mohammed" that I think should get some airplay.
HP: What was the dumbest thing anyone said or wrote about you this year?
HC: Man, I'm trying to forget. - William Michael Smith