Ray Wylie Hubbard
Tell The Devil I’m Gettin’ There As Fast As I Can
Reviewed by: Jane Roser
One day I’d love to see Ray Wylie Hubbard write an episode for the hit CW show “Supernatural”. For a show that revolves around God and the Devil in cheeky, unexpected and profound ways, Hubbard could draw parallels from his own writing. From “Conversations With The Devil” to “Barefoot In Heaven”, Hubbard is a witty, expert storyteller exploring the droves of colorful characters one may chance to encounter on Earth, as well as on the way to Heaven or Hell.
Self-produced at The Zone in Dripping Springs, Texas and released on Bordello Records through Thirty Tigers, Hubbard’s 17th album Tell The Devil I’m Gettin’ There As Fast As I Can features guest appearances by Lucinda Williams, Eric Church, Patty Griffin and Austin-based psych-rockers Bright Light Social Hour, backed by his son Lucas (lead guitar), Kyle Schneider (drums), Jeff Plankenhorn (dobro and mandolin), Bukka Allen (B3 organ), plus studio owner Mike Morgan and engineer Pat Manskee both on bass.
Opening track “God Looked Around” reminded me a bit of Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” with Hubbard’s spellbinding way of delivering a story-song in a simple, somber, yet powerful voice. Beginning with Genesis and ending with a visit to the pearly gates, he covers it all and no one else can emphasis the word “sssnake” or sneak in the phrase “naked as a jay bird” in a tale about Adam and Eve like Hubbard can.
“Lucifer and the Fallen Angels” starts off with a roadkill squirrel in Arkansas and quickly becomes a cautionary tale of what happens when you pick up the Devil and some fallen angels on the side of the road (basically you get told that no one in Nashville will publish your song and ends with Lucifer knocking over a liquor store for a bottle of Seagrams 7).
As hot as the hinges in Hell, Hubbard’s latest record is a magnificent reminder that there’s no guarantee for salvation, some souls can’t be redeemed, the Devil is a complicated, saucy fellow and one I’ll throw in for good measure – be careful who you trust because the Devil was once an angel.
Rating: Bad Ass