Luv Doc Recommends: Ray Wylie Hubbard & Gurf Morlix
Cactus Cafe, Saturday, November 20, 2004
It’s shaping up to be a big weekend, what with the American Music Therapy Association holding its annual convention down at the Hilton. One assumes that the 1,500-odd attendees will have a passing familiarity with good music, otherwise they would surely be shacking up in Vegas, Orlando, or some exotic place with a beautiful river like … uh … San Antonio. Austin has a beautiful river … although it’s a little too big to pole vault across, and we’re exotic too – at least to people from places where cultural diversity is experienced mainly at the shopping mall. No, we’re not blessed with the tiger-taming antics of Siegfried and Roy, nor are we the beneficiaries of the uncanny vocal impersonations of Danny Gans. We don’t have an Epcot Center or a Magic Mountain. We don’t have a French Quarter or a Chinatown. What we do have in abundance, however, is legions of broke, scruffy-looking folks who like to play music. This is ultimately both our charm and our scourge, depending on how you look at it. It’s cool to be able to go out on a Tuesday night and see world-class musicians throwing down for no cover. It’s also a little unsettling to have them serenade you in the check-out line at the grocery store. We’ve got music therapy up to our friggin … well … ears. Where will it end? Will restroom attendants be replaced by aspiring blues rock trios looking to play the main room? Talk about giving pee shyness an added dimension. Still, there’s no better place on the planet for a music therapist – certainly not this Saturday night when celebrated honky-tonk tunesmith Ray Wylie Hubbard shares the stage at the Cactus with renowned guitarist/producer Gurf Morlix. Hubbard is, of course, the author of the hick anthem “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” and Morlix is responsible for some of the best roots/Americana/country CDs in recent years, having produced highly listenable discs by people like Lucinda Williams, Robert Earl Keen, Hot Club of Cowtown, Slaid Cleaves, and Hubbard himself. Their most recent collaboration, Growl, is perhaps Hubbard’s finest release yet, having already spawned two great singles, “Rock-n-Roll is a Vicious Game,” and Hubbard’s taco head tribute, “Screw You, We’re From Texas.” How’s that for exotic?