Ray Wylie Hubbard

Texas Platter

Phases and Stages

Ray Wylie Hubbard

Growl (Rounder)

Ray Wylie Hubbard has some kind of winning streak going. Since his "return" in the early Nineties, the Wimberley-based outlaw singer-songwriter has released one exceptional collection of songs after another. With his new album, Growl, Hubbard makes it clear he's not done yet. Guitarist, songwriter, and ear Gurf Morlix handled production, and if you thought their last collaboration, 2001's Eternal and Lowdown, was one of Hubbard's best, Growl will positively soothe your soul. In fact, Growl makes their last disc seem like a preliminary round. It exemplifies two locals who work remarkably well together, with songs in the pocket every time, and it is surely Morlix's best work since he stopped working with Lucinda Williams. The themes, riffs, and melodies Hubbard serves up on Growl are from deep in the Delta that spawned Fred McDowell and Muddy Waters. Meanwhile, Morlix creates spare, often-eccentric backdrops that sound like "old weird America," yet really could only have been made in this new, slightly offbeat century. Hubbard demonstrates his way with words on tunes like the sly and ominous "The Knives of Spain" and "Bones," a gambling tale with groove that's miles wide. The tune sure to get the most attention is "Screw You, We're From Texas," a greasy blues worthy of ZZ Top that's just ambiguous enough so that yuppies and freaks alike finally have a rallying cry to replace Hubbard's hallmark "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother." After all, how bad can a tune that mentions SRV, Gruene Hall, and the 13th Floor Elevators really be?

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

Texas Platters
The Beaumonts / Hickoids
This Is Austin, All the World's a Dressing Room (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, Jan. 3, 2020

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Ray Wylie Hubbard

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle