Ray Wylie Hubbard
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Ray Wylie Hubbard

Wimberley, Texas, United States | INDIE | AFM

Wimberley, Texas, United States | INDIE | AFM
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""A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment" Quotes"

Ray Wylie Hubbard rumbles and tumbles out of a Texas that’s made of a hipneck’s dream.
--Chris Robinson The Black Crowes

“Think of it as mystical biker country. There’s a definite cosmic thrust to the plunked tin guitar notes, the jingle-jangle tambourine, tattooed rhythms and a red-dust harmonica wheezing a spectral recap of the mostly blues, kinda country melodies.”
--American Songwriter

Ray Wylie Hubbard was an outlaw before the term was coined and he continues to go his own solitary way on A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no C).
--Crawdaddy

On first listen, his first new album in four years may not sound like a radical departure from his previous four records, but A. Enlightenment, B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C) is anything but business as usual.
--Lone Star Music

Enlightenment is an entire back-to-basics movement rolled into 12 tracks that uncoil like a rattlesnake disturbed in its sleep.
--Houston Press

He's got a deep, gravelly voice that certainly wouldn't be suited to much material. But it's perfect for his dark tales and invocations of, for example, a "Drunken Poet's Dream," which is filled with alcohol and alluring women and a battle with wasps and their hellfire stings.
--Journal Star

Hubbard seems to have chosen endarkenment for the moment, but his walk on the dark side is delivered in a potent package of bluesy guitars, crashing cymbals and, adding an ominous tone of how serious this all is, some church choir vocals and hand claps.
--Aspen Times

That odd album title, and the song it comes from, neatly encapsulate the unique hoodoo of Ray Wylie Hubbard. The grizzled Texas troubadour can embrace all kinds of heady concepts (and headless ones, too - see the album cover), but he brings it all down to a primal musical level, and not without dashes of devilish humor.
--Philadelphia Inquirer

Besides having possibly the oddest title of the year, the new record is a tight collection of sparsely produced gems. The album possesses serious doses of Gothic country (“Down Home Country Blues”), dirty blues (“Wasp’s Nest”) and soul-scorching gospel (“Whoop & Holler”).
--Texas Week

Hubbard exists as a troubadour of the highest order who has always tested musical boundaries.
--Swampland

Hubbard kicked the bottle and emerged a fiercely inventive, raw singer and songwriter with a string of dark storybook solo albums in the ’90s and ’00s. “A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C)” continues the trend.
--Austin 360

Hubbard may sound ragged and patchy beyond his years at times, but there is no ignoring the fact that A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C) is a damn fine record from a genuine Texas songwriting institution.
--Pop Matters

Among the best at penning songs that feature the push and pull of sin and redemption, of the mystical and the venal, Hubbard and his AB collaborators have stripped 'em down, laid 'em bare and rolled 'em out like burning dice bouncing off resonator guitars.
--San Antonio Express

Dark imagery pervades the second half of the album on Every Day is the Day of the Dead, Opium and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; combined with thumping drums and bluesy guitar, the result is downright primal.
--Country and Standard Time

A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C), his first album since 2006's terrific Snake Farm, is nonetheless an astonishing work of contemporary observations and cockeyed poetry.
--Slant Magazine

In case the album cover - on which he's clutching a sword and his own severed head - didn't tip you off, Ray Wylie Hubbard's newest release is a little on the gritty side. Both cover and album are inspired by a quote from 13th century Persian poet Rumi, which states "Behead yourself. Dissolve your whole self into vision: become seeing, seeing, seeing." What Hubbard seems to be seeing here isn't too pretty, but it sure sounds good.
--No Depression

He peppers his songs liberally with concrete details that feed his arid settings, sweat-browed characters, lowdown blues riffs. But that doesn't keep him from playing up all the spiritual and sexual possibilities of his hard-livin', hard-drinkin', hard-lovin', hard-thinkin' country-blues-folk-rock.
--Washington Post Express

I would venture to say this is his bluesiest effort to date, with greasy slide guitar licks augmented by those mystically poetic lyrics that have become his trademark.
--A Truer Sound

A dozen mystic Americana ruminations from the always haunting Texas singer-songwriter.
--Dallas Morning News

Hubbard talks about leaving himself when writing. It's a concept referenced in the cover art of the new A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C), which finds the songwriter, samurai sword in hand, carrying his own severed head. A quote from the poet Rumi is on the back: It suggests leaving one's own head for inspiration. The results vary, Hubbard says, betwee - Various


"Various Media Quotes"


“Hubbard’s night of the heart may end with tentative glimmers of eternal hope in the sweet soul of ‘Didn’t Have A Prayer’ and ‘After All These Years,’ but the turning point comes during an all-night ‘Joy Ride’ with a Mamie Van Doren look a like who listens to Slim Harpo.”
4 STARS
Brian Mansfield
USA TODAY


“…the cool tone of Hubbard's voice, singing atop his evocative, unrushed melodies, should serve as a blueprint for would-be musical mystics and troubadours everywhere.” - Buzz McClain
THE WASHINGTON POST

“Teaming this time with ace guitarist-producer Gurf Morlix, Hubbard has come up with his best-sounding effort yet, a pungently bluesy set that also encompasses jug-band ramble, country lilt and gospelish soul.”
Nick Cristiano
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

“Since 1992, he’s released a series of albums, each more impressive than the last…all leading up to Eternal and Lowdown, his latest - and greatest…a gem.” - Jim Caligiuri
THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE

"Hubbard solidifies his position as one of the leading lights among Texas singer-songwriters, heir to a rich tradition that includes Townes Van Zandt but goes further back to Mance Lipscomb and other Texas blues singers." Eric Fidler
ASSOCIATED PRESS

“Easily Ray Wylie Hubbard’s most musically satisfying recording…”
Michael Shannon Friedman
NO DEPRESSION

Snake Farm is the anchored in dirt side of Hubbard’s musical vision. Lyrically, while it’s rooted in the heart and backbone of the human condition that tries to make sense of things that don’t necessarily add up. Snake Farm is his masterpiece – thus far anyway.
4.5 Stars
Thom Jurek
All Music Guide


“His new one, Eternal and Lowdown, is not only his
bluesiest, but also one of his finest.” - Geoffrey Himes
SONICNET.COM


“This is blues music, full of black dogs, devils, gamblers, and catfish bones, but it’s the celebratory kind of blues sung by a rambler that’s returned, a seeker who has found.”-
Anders Smith-Lindall
AMAZON.COM

“Texas singer/songwriter/gonzo cowboy Ray Wylie Hubbard has enjoyed a career renaissance in the last decade-plus that has undoubtedly produced the most powerful music of his career. Billboard

"Ray Wylie Hubbard wrote Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother , which became the anthem of outlaw country. Hubbard did what rebellious young rednecks do to render themselves legendary, and then he sobered up ,got spiritual and learned to control his craft. But -Hubbard also did the unexpected: He became a powerful artist…" Dave Marsh
PLAYBOY

- USA Today,Washington Post, No Depression, Playboy, Billbaord


"Cool Quotes From Cool Cats"

I love Ray Wylie Hubbard. Snake Farm….ooooh, this is a great record.
Ringo Starr
Beatle

“This is the best record I’ve heard in ten years…Hubbard is ripe”
Tony Joe White
Swamp Fox

Ray Wylie Hubbard , an alt-country southern rocker is one mean motorcycle. Snake Farm is a double wide load of blues guitar and sly humor, your basic old school boogie.
Stephen King
Scary Book Writer

“Hubbard’s a gnarly old dude and he’s got some really cool hats”
Chris Robinson
Black Crowe


"Ray Wylie Hubbard is a poet. He rocks harder than most and is as intimate a songwriter as they come.
He's not just he real deal - he is the deal. I love Ray Wylie Hubbard.”
Jack Ingram
songwriter

- Ringo, Tony Joe, Stephen, Chirs, Jack


"All Music Guide-Snake Farm"

Snake Farm
Release Date June 27, 2006
The third song on Ray Wylie Hubbard's 11th studio album, Snake Farm, is called "Heartaches and Grease," and that would have been a pretty good title for the record -- these 11 numbers are shot through with deep, growling guitars that sound like a hopped-up muscle car roaring past you late at night, reeking of Pennzoil and cheap thrills, while Hubbard's lyrics serve up tales of deals with the devil, encounters with a variety of difficult women, and sweet and dirty temptations in all sizes. Snake Farm's approach suggests Hubbard and producer/guitarist Gurf Morlix listened to the raw, bluesy groove of "Choctaw Bingo" that closed out his previous album, Delirium Tremolos, and just moved forward from there; this disc has the same sort of wicked late-night vibe as Exile on Main St., only moved to Texas and written from the perspective of someone who knows a good bit more about where the wrong choices can take you than Mick and Keef had figured out back in the day. Hubbard's songs are the perfect match for the album's gloriously ominous mood -- the craft of his lyrics is superb and he can tell as story as well (and as intelligently) as anyone around today (cue up "The Wild Gods of Mexico" to hear him in stellar form), but he also knows when to cut to the chase and let a simpler, more casual approach take over ("Mother Hubbard's Blues" and the title cut sound as if Hubbard could have made them up as he went along, except there isn't a moment where they hit a wrong note or land on the wrong foot). And the core players on these sessions -- Hubbard, Morlix, Rick Richards on drums and George Reiff on bass -- are superb, rumbling with the muscle of a first-class rock outfit while boasting the laid-back but lethal timing of a great blues band; anyone who still thinks of Hubbard as a marginal figure from the Texas outlaw country scene will get straightened out good and quick after one listen to this disc. There's never been much argument about Ray Wylie Hubbard's gifts as a songwriter, but Snake Farm demonstrates he can make records just as well as he can write, and it's hard to imagine anyone will make a better 3:00 A.M. record than this one in 2006. ~ Mark Deming, All Music Guide
- Mark Deming


"Billboard Picks"

Billboard.BIZ
Billboard Picks - Album Picks

January 08, 2005,
Delirium Tremolos

Ray Wylie Hubbard is not known for releasing CD after CD (this is only his
fifth album), so when a new one comes along, more often than not, it is
something special. Such is the case with "Delirium Tremolos." It finds
Hubbard not only offering some stirring originals but also
uncharacteristically covering others. Woody Guthrie's "This Mornin' I Am
Born Again," for example, is a funeral dirge in his hands, and Eliza
Gilkyson's "The Beauty Way" is a passionate and powerful tribute to the
troubadour's life. He lends world-weary authority to Roger Tillison's
"Rock and Roll Gypsies" and joins forces with Jack Ingram on Hubbard's own
thieves fable "Dallas After Midnight." Hubbard's vocals are perfect for
the tortured, tattooed "Torn in Two," and "Drivin' Wheel" is just plain
ol' sad and lonesome. He evokes "tombstones and rollin' bones" on the
harrowing "Dust of the Chase" and struts his sense of style on a bluesy
"Cooler-N-Hell." Hubbard wraps things up with an eight-minute white-trash
opus in "Choctaw Bingo" that roils and burbles like an intoxicating gumbo.
Cooler 'n hell, indeed.—RW

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- Billboard


"Austin Americana Review"

Ray Wylie Hubbard "Growl"
©2003 Rounder Records/Philo

Ray Wylie is back, and this time he's raw and gritty and real. The man has always been an excellent story-teller. With "Growl" he is giving his poetic side free reign. Such as with the stark and spare 'The Knives of Spain' - you can almost feel your ribs spreading as the shiv slides in.

Did I mention this recording gets down and dirty? It is also about the down and out. I believe there is a bit more meat on the ole song-bones this time around, plenty to keep the cycle of life going out on the range where the coyotes roam.

The music gets down to match the lyrics. It is a back-alley blues style for the most part with major contributions by Gurf Morlix and Rick Richards, with a panoply of musical squires from the likes of Buddy Miller, Jon Dee Graham, Scrappy Jud Newcomb, Darcie Deville, Mary Gauthier and Papa Mali. Most of these talents call Austin home and there are a number of local references in the songs, too. Fans of Ray Wylie will still find his characteristic, almost monotonic vocal style delivering the word.

You know you've stumbled upon some pretty basic stuff when the instrumentation listing for a song is "RWH vocal, acoustic guitar; Gurf Morlix, acoustic guitar, right hand slapping chest, left hand slapping left thigh, feet in shoes stomping floor." Gotta love it.

There is also a cautionary tale in 'Rock-n-Roll Is a Vicious Game.' Wanna-be recording stars best listen to your elders and heed them well. The disc concludes with the anthem 'Screw You, We're from Texas' which despite a possible tongue in cheek, won't make any friends in some places. Still you've got to admire a songwriter who rhymes "St. John the Revelator" with "the 13th Floor Elevators"... and besides, "screw you, we're from Texas!"

Austin Americana Review
- Austin Americana


Discography

1976 Ray Wylie Hubbard and the Cowboy Twinkies -Warner Bros.
1978 Off the Wall - Lone Star Records, Polygram
1980 Something About the Night - Renegade Records 1984 Caught in the Act - Misery Loves Company Records
1991 Lost Train of Thought - Misery Loves Company Records
1994 Loco Gringo’s Lament - DejaDisc Records
1997 Dangerous Spirits - Rounder/Philo Records
1998 Live at Cibolo Creek - Misery Loves Company Records
1999 Crusades of the Restless Knights - Rounder/Philo Records
2001 Eternal & Lowdown – Rounder/ Philo Records
2003 GROWL- Rounder/Philo Records
2005 Delirium Tremolos Rounder/Philo Records
2006 Snake Farm- Bordello Records
2010 (January) A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no c)
Bordello Records (Thirty Tigers/RED)

Photos

Bio

It wasn't that long ago that Ray Wylie Hubbard allowed to an acquaintance that he wouldn't mind being a hybrid of Guy Clark and John Lee Hooker. Now, I'm no seer or mystic, but my instincts suggest that wish came true. And then some. A. Enlightenment, B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no C) confirms it.

Ray Wylie Hubbard writes the kind of songs that make you want to ride along no matter where he's going, because you know it's gonna get strange somewhere along the way. The references to Muddy Waters being as deep as William Blake (“I really do believe it,'' Ray says) and lipstick pickups, resonator slides, the dreams of drunken poets, deceased call girls, opium, wasp's nests, clouds growing a tail, his ability to segue seamlessly from primal exclamations of carnal lust into songs about salvation without pausing for irony; and a craftsmanship that manages to rhyme mescaline and gasoline and Volkswagen with dragon while painting vivid portraits of characters both real and unreal, all evoke a sense of place that is larger than life but in no way made up.

Anyone who's followed Ray Wylie Hubbard over the long and winding path he has traveled already knows he possesses the kind of exceptional gift for observation that any songwriter yearns for. His sense of wonder is tempered by an accumulated wisdom and knowledge that comes with experience that has elevated him into the Wylie Lama of Texas Music, freely imparting songwriting verities to all kinds of aspiring musicians, which allows him to lay all his cards on the table and let the listener decide what it all means.

In case you're wondering where he's been since his last album Snake Farm , Ray's been writing, only he moved out of the song category to test his chops as a screenwriter, conceiving an outlaw western straight out of the Peckinpah school of blood and vengeance (“set in 1912 so we can have a Buick and a motorcycle and automatic weapons well as horses”). That his first screenplay actually got funded, filmed and slated for release is a testament to the caliber of his writing, the fact that Kris Kristofferson, Dwight Yoakam, and Lizzy Caplan appear among the ensemble of accomplished actors speaks volumes of the respect he has earned among his peers.

Besides the movies, a weekly Tuesday radio show and constant touring as well as producing other artists, his focus remains fixed on the song - constructing and performing stories set to music that resonate like no one else's. Not for nothing is he the dark literary, cat daddy of Americana songsters who was outlaw long before it was cool.

But don't take my word for it. Ray Wylie is far better-versed explaining how the sacred and the profane, the yin and the yang, the eternal and the now, the hippies and rednecks, the saved and the damned are all part of the same conversation.

“I like to look at both enlightenment and endarkenment,” he declares. “I feel comfortable observing each. Now I really feel like I gave up the right to judge anybody a longtime ago. With my behavior back in my twenties and thirties, I don't have that right. I really don't.” That doesn't stop him from taking note of what's going on around him. “It's so turbulent right now,” he says. “Like the idea of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. That's pretty strong and scary stuff, especially since I try to stay here in this Pollyanna world of hope and idealism I've created, but I'm able to get in that mind set and look at it and write it from the point of view of one who believes it.”

“In ‘ Whoop and Hollar ' I can go in there and see the need for that kind of Salvation and understand why that need is there but then read about Chet Baker and heroin and think, yeah, man, it does make the deep things appear (which he captures in ‘ Opium ). “I feel very fortunate, being able to see that, but not really go there.”

“Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” and “Whoop and Hollar,” two straight up gospel pieces that could be sung in a four square church are “straight, basic fundamental Pentecostal Bible,” Ray explains with a sly grin. “Then all of a sudden I write about a naked woman in ‘ Drunken Poet's Dream.”

So what's up with the unusual title song? “It is my honoring Edgar Allen Poe's ‘The Raven,'” he says, breaking into a conspiratorial smile. “That is my favorite poem of all time. It still is. I re-read it and as I was going to bed I thought, I should write something like this. I couldn't use a raven so I used a black sparrow. And it started. It was so weird, just laying in bed thinking, OK, here's Edgar Allen Poe, he's drinking, he's just lost the most precious thing in his life and all that. What would happen if I was in that frame of mind and suddenly this bird lands by my bed? What would it say? 'A. Enlightenment, B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C).' ''

He continues “ Finally, a little bit later, came the line I'd heard my grandmother say when I was a kid, ‘Heaven pours down rain and lightning bolts'– that