Ray Wylie Hubbard

Ray Wylie Hubbard's new album, The Grifter's Hymnal, continues the Oklahoma-born songwriter's 21st-century winning streak that began with 2003's Growl. It seems the older the Texas troubadour gets, the dirtier and more decadent his material becomes. Take any younger cat coming up today who thinks he has the salt and grit to write with Hubbard's mean streak, and watch the Hill Country dweller mop the barroom floor with the youth's designer jean jacket. Hymnal holds no quarter and takes zero time to get to business, with lead cut "Coricidin Bottle" a hellbilly stomp worth at least a No. 1 album in Hades. Elsewhere, RWH visits the fiery pits themselves for "New Year's Eve at the Gates of Hell," where he finds not only Doors front man Jim Morrison but a few Fox News "whores." Even Ringo Starr, whom you may remember keeping time for that one band from Liverpool, stops by to lay down handclaps, guitar and backing vocals on "Coochy Coochy." The two artists seem to make great foils for one another.


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