Right from the cover of this disc—no attempt at a description will be attempted here just go find it—it is thought provoking even before you get to the contents. Then there are the song titles, and by now you know that you have something totally different in your hands. Something that is far beyond an ordinary new disc of music, and you will know that it is something that is well worth exploring. Ray Wylie Hubbard is a songwriter who was for a long time known mainly for one song, Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother, that Jerry Jeff Walker made famous back in 1973, and it is not a typical song although it was to become a legendary one. His material since then is more thought provoking on many levels, and many of his songs are of a 'spiritual quest.' He is a songwriter with a very keen appreciation for the powers of observation and the nuances of everyday life, the thoughts behind the more obvious thought that is there for all to see. He has a sense of humor, that at times borders on the ironic and absurd, that permeates much of his writing, he is not afraid of being the clown or the 'drunken poet.'
Hubbard's voice is a sandpapery rasp that has a built in poetry to it, so that his words seem to flow out as if being spoken for the first time. As to the music he uses to highlight his lyrics it is a true blend of blues, folk, country, punk and whatever else he has simmering in the background; but always interesting. (One of his first bands was called Ray Wylie Hubbard and The Cowboy Twinkies, where does a band with that name fit into the record bins.) This poet has become one of the strongest breakers of boundaries you might run across in the music field, he has placed himself beyond labels that are used to describe most others who set their thoughts to music. Just give a listen to the great resonator slide playing on Tornado Ripe particularly because it precedes the wonderful beat and tone of Whoop and Hollar. He has enlisted the skills of among others Gurf Morlix, Rick Richards, George Reiff, and Bukka Allen to flesh out this presentation of twelve songs he either wrote (10) or co-wrote (2). Plus he has his son Lucas Hubbard on electric guitar on a few cuts. This is a singer that if you ever get the opportunity to see, grab it, don't think twice about it, his stories when he gets to ramblin' alone are worth the price of admission. One of his finest and most adventurous discs, and a true standout disc in this time of recording endarkenment.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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