Ray Wylie Hubbard
Tell The Devil I’m Getting There As Fast As I Can
Read About The Forthcoming Release ‘Tell the Devil I’m Getting There as Fast as I Can’ Out August 18 2017 (via Bordello Records through Thirty Tigers)
Ray Wylie Hubbard is a seventy-year old Oklahoma-born troubadour, now a resident outside of Austin Texas.
His wry observations and sharp wit, combined with a glorious rocker’s sensibility have fueled his career for many years, earning him a devoted cult following with covers of his songs (eg the driving and gritty ‘Snake Farm’) filling up the airwaves and stages in many a place. One of his songs recently featured on the soundtrack of the terrific movie Hell or High Water (2016). You can learn a lot about this colourful character in his 2015 memoir A Life …Well Lived.
Produced by Hubbard himself at The Zone in Dripping Springs, Texas, with his lead-guitar playing son Lucas, drummer Kyle Schneider, Jeff Plankenhorn (Dobro and mandolin), Bukka Allen (B3 organ), Mike Morgan and Pat Manskee on bass, Tell the Devil… promises to be every bit as lean and mean as his last release The Ruffian’s Misfortune (2015).
“You kind of give him a personality, you know?” offers Hubbard. “Like in [the new album’s] ‘Lucifer and the Fallen Angels,’ you pick up this guy hitchhiking to Mobile, Alabama, and he’s just this colorful kind of smart-ass, funky cat. It reminds me of A Streetcar Named Desire, where you’ve got Marlon Brando as this brute in a torn T-shirt, but what he’s saying is brilliant, because his words are from Tennessee Williams. I always enjoy that.”
guests Lucinda Williams, Eric Church, Patty Griffin
and psych-rockers Bright Light Social Hour
“I’ve always had this idea that I needed to do something like ‘All Along the Watchtower,’” says Hubbard. “So I basically sat down with the intent to write this mythological, Holy Grail/Games of Thrones kind of thing, and then I had the guys from the Bright Light Social Hour come in, because I knew they’d be perfect for it.” The Austin-based psych-rock band had previously called Hubbard out of the blue back in 2015, inviting him to join them onstage for their own album-release blowout so they could jam together on his 2003 anthem ‘Screw You, We’re From Texas’. “That was trippy,” recalls a beaming Hubbard, who was so impressed with the band’s intensity that he ended up re-recording that song (along with a couple of gems from his back pages) for a retrospective album he aims to release later this year.
Hubbard was also invited to sing one of his songs at a sold-out arena show by mainstream country sensation Eric Church. To return the favor, Hubbard invited Church to sing with him on the title track – right alongside Americana queen Lucinda Williams, the result of which you can catch below.
“I can’t remember if it was Gurf (Morlix) or George Reiff, but one of those guys told me once that on every record I need to have a rock ’n’ roll anthem, so I always try to do that,” says Hubbard, referring to two of the three record producers (the third being Lloyd Maines) that he remains forever indebted to for helping him rebuild his career, one album at a time, ever since going sober three decades back. “So, ’Tell the Devil’ is kind of my rock ’n’ roll anthem here. It’s got an old gnarly guitar and slide on it, but I really love that it’s also got that ‘Maggie May’ instrumentation thing going on, with mandolin and Hammond B3 together; in fact, Bukka came in and did an Ian McLagan thing on it that was just great. And then of course we got Eric singing his part, and finally Lucinda put her Lucinda low-down cool on it!”