“Co-Starring Too” – Ray Wylie Hubbard (2022) [english]

When it comes to living legends in music, it’s a mortal sin if you don’t include 76-year-old Ray Wylie Hubbard (in November). With 19 records (including this) given to the world and a slew of artists who say they are inspired by him and his poetry, it is really impossible not to talk to you with a bit of awe. Rest assured that you have never heard of it is perfectly normal, its name has often been neglected even in the United States, let alone in our country. Ray was part of that group of rebels of country music that in the 70s broke the “rules” imposed by the record companies and created a new way of doing that genre deviating from the path of the “classic”: the Outlaws. Here, together with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash (to say the most famous), add Ray Wylie Hubbard, a Texan in the heart although native of Oklahoma. He has contributed to the growth of the movement and in his long recording career, lived on the margins of success, he has given pearls of country folk poetry that you absolutely must discover, if you do not know them. Hubbard in recent years, those where the world has experienced this emergency, is almost reborn : a new recording contract and a collaboration album released in 2020 of great success. The predecessor of this Co-Starring Too, had given us an artist intent on giving thanks to the artist friends who had influenced and influenced his sound. A successful record that he had so much fun doing, that the good Ray Wylie tries again and hits the bull’s-eye. Usually these operations almost never succeed, as in movie sagas, the sequels are almost never a good idea. On the contrary the 11 pieces that make up this album, are of very high quality, the usual poetic folk rock country that is his trademark, guitars and that voice almost spoken by old-fashioned storytellers who made proselytes among lovers of country music as well as between those who love rock music and “committed” music. The album starts immediately with a load of 90 and the duet in Stone Blind Horse, is with another living legend : Willie Nelson. The words of this article would not be enough to tell you what this duet represents, two voices so particular that intersect, marked by time and a long road traveled. A road in which there are also ghosts, a story enlivened by pedal-steel and the intertwining with guitars, a taste of country of the good times that were, between melancholy and regrets and also the hope that someone in Paradise, is praying for them. Stupendous. Groove, performed with Kevin Russell and the Shiny Soul Sisters, has everything in the title. A beautiful groove, a funk rock marked by the “told” voice of Hubbard that is the contrast to the soul voices of Russell and Shiny. Fun and not trivial. The rocker soul comes out in all its glory in the duet with the Bluebonnets, Only a Fool is whipped by the guitars of the Texan band and their beautiful voices, the text celebrates the wisdom of women and the God that saw the man, decided to create something better. Steve Earle is another of those artists who would have deserved more celebration, one of those who made country rock fashion in the dark years that were the 80s (musically speaking). Duet in Hellbent for Leather, a wonderful piece of dusty and intense country rock, a simple piece but of a sparkling beauty in which the text is not less when we talk about leaving the metropolis to return to their roots. Naturally Wild, together with Lzzy Hale and John 5, is a wild southern rock with guitars in the forefront, the voice of Hubbard does not disfigure and indeed makes the screams of rockers that accompany him and guitars that scratch the speakers even more. Nothing new but damn funny. Take four Texas legends and put them together and you can’t have a bad song. Here in Fancy Boys there are besides Hubbard, Hayes Carll, James McMurtry and Dalton Domino, 4 singer-songwriters of paradise level and give us a fantastic performance. A blues rock song with a Texan soul, with a text usually direct and pungent when talking about people jumping on stages trod by Waylon. It’s nothing new that Ray Wylie Hubbard doesn’t outsmart himself and we love him for it. Beautiful piece. Texas Wild Side is a fun and rocking journey into the wild side of Texas together with Bandoleros, a young Texas rock band that deserves attention and makes this track cool and great grip. The following track is an all star of red dirt country : Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers and Cody Canada take the stage in Even If My Wheels Fall Off, along with Hubbard and comes out a wonderful song that fills the air of energetic guitars and voices that complement. Beautiful solo but all the instrumental work is top notch. Pretty Reckless riff is pure Hubbard-sound, swampy and dusty at the same time, dragged, with a groove enhanced by the presence of Wynnona Judd, Jaimee Harris, Charlie Sexton and another singer-songwriter never quite celebrated, namely Gurf Morlix. Another ensemble that looks like an all star and the song can only be a jewel. Ride Or Die continues the groove of the previous song, the sound is as much Hubbard-style as you can imagine, remembers a lot of his songs of the past and that made him love in Texas. Riffs dragged that make use of the presence of two true legends of world music : Ringo Starr and Steve Lukather (Toto), in addition to the beautiful voices of Ann Wilson and Eliza Gilkyson and his son Lucas Hubbard. The text is really beautiful and vaguely reminds us of the woman of his masterpiece Snake Farm, this time this woman of his memories : “bettin’ everything on black lipstick / She got a double tambourine / She dances around like Stevie Nicks”. The beautiful album ends with the western Desperate Man, along with the Band Of Heathens, that Hubbard had written with Eric Church (and that the same Church had later led to success) and that in this work rises to new life and closes big with a magnificent work of guitars and voices. An album that was not necessary to confirm the quality of this artist but that becomes absolutely necessary to improve our lives and to make him know even more. We need more artists like Ray Wylie Hubbard. A true Troubadour, of those you would listen to sing and recite poetry for hours without ever getting tired, a man of other times, sincere and pungent, ironic and generous that has given his art and his influence to many artists without ever getting a true and deserved celebration. If you love music, whether you love rock or country or blues or folk, it doesn’t matter, listen to this record and you will be reconciled with the “beauty” that this art gives to hearts. If then after this record and after the previous one, you are curious to deepen his music I recommend starting from my favorite album and that is the brilliant Delirium Tremolos (2015), trust you will not stop at that and discover his immense and fundamental discography.

Good listening,

Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(you can find original italian article at this link : https://www.ticinonotizie.it/ray-wylie-hubbard-co-starring-too-2022-by-trex-roads/ )

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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