Ray Wylie Hubbard | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Ray Wylie Hubbard 

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RAY WYLIE HUBBARD

Since resurfacing a few years ago after almost two decades of relative obscurity, Texan Ray Wylie Hubbard has tempered the brusque impulsiveness that inspired his "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother," a tune Jerry Jeff Walker turned into something of an anthem for the outlaw-country movement. His new album, Dangerous Spirits (Philo), is more in line with the contemplative country-tinged folk-rock on 1995's superb Loco Gringo's Lament. At times Hubbard gets a bit caught up in he-man plains poetry--there are some downright embarrassing lines, like "You are like a flower growin' in the wildwood...I am like a river, after a rainstorm," from "Without Love (We're Both Just Wastin' Time)"--but his rough-and-tumble narratives more than redeem the record. Of course, having musicians like Mike Henderson, Lloyd Maines, Jimmy LaFave, Kevin Welch, Lucinda Williams, Kieran Kane, and Tish Hinojosa play on your record would help anyone's cause, but Hubbard's low-key warble and his familiar melodies can carry him in any setting. He'll be joined by longtime partner Terry "Buffalo" Ware on guitar; Slaid Cleaves opens. Thursday, August 14, 8 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 773-525-2508. PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.

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