P.O. Box 788
San Marcos, TX 78667-0788
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mike Plumbley
There is a telling stanza on Ray Wylie Hubbard's Lost Train of Thought which serves to introduce listeners to this Texan songwriter. Through the sweaty dancehall backbeat on " Ray Wylie Hubbard sings: "Outside the expensive comforts are walking, not liking the lyrics but loving the beat." Just as ice-cold beer goes with chicken fried steak Ray Wylie Hubbard's lyrics fit the rhythms to a Texas T.
Lost Train of Thought flows from end to end like the beer at a dancehall on a Saturday night. The songwriter and band are never in a hurry. They are masters of that Texas backbeat where country and the blues make rock'n'roll. There isn't a tune here to which you couldn't take a spin on a dancefloor.
From the opening blast of Here Comes The Night to the solid encore of Wanna Rock and Roll,
" the listener is in the hands of a master songwriter and a band that rocks right in the groove. After an initial couple of rockers the tempo switches for a pair of truly beautiful ballads. Basics of Love is fall-over gorgeous, with spot-on beat and slide guitar to make the heart skip a beat and Ray Wylie Hubbard coming up with couplets like:
|There may not be angels singing |
But you'll know it when it comes
You may not hear sweet heavenly music
Sometimes it's like falling into a set of drums
A delicate duet of These Eyes, with Willie Nelson, follows, on which the original Texas outlaw's band sound like blood brothers of the musicians who play on the other ten cuts of this album. Terry "Buffalo" Ware, Ray Wylie Hubbard's right-hand gun, plays guitar throughout. His contribution to Portales and that of vocalist Becky Lane fit this "handwoven love song of sadness" like a glove, as does the band over this entire album.
Lost Train of Thought is perfect for those long interstate drives when the babble of DJs and advertising becomes too much to bear. You could beat your palm on the dashboard to When She Sang 'Amazing Grace' or singalong to the infectious fun of Rockabilly Rock where Ray Wylie Hubbard fits the words in the beat as tight as a cowboy boot.
As the predecessor to Loco Gringo's Lament and Dangerous Spirits, the album begins an outpouring from a man able to reflect and draw strength by replacing the bottle with a masterful set of songs. Originally only available on Ray Wylie Hubbard's own Misery Loves Company label, Dejadisc has made it available to a wider audience. "File under Singer-Songwriter and Country" they advise on the press release. What they might have added is "Play loud in dancehalls, at barbecues and on country picnics."
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Edited by Henry Koretzky