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"Broken Heroes, Wasted Lovers, and Vilified Gods"
on May 30, 2005
"Dangerous Spirits" is perhaps Ray Wylie Hubbard's most spiritual CD. The racuous and rowdy side of Hubbard, as exemplified by "Redneck Mother," isn't much present here. The songs are mostly acoustic, thoughtful and several of them are just plain beautiful.
In addition to acoustic guitar, Ray plays a mean mandolin on a couple of cuts and a harmonica on the deep and dark spiritual "Resurrection;" a variety of girl singers, including Lucinda Williams, and top-notch guitar players like "Buffalo" Ware and Lloyd Maines contribute their talents. The sound is mostly folk rather than country or rock.
Several songs are really outstanding: "Last Train to Amsterdam and "The Last Younger Son" are what Hubbard would call "dark power ballads." "Ballad of the Crimson Kings" and "Crimson Dragon Tattoo" are exquisite up-tempo tunes with a great interplay among voices, mandolin, dobro, acoustic, and electric guitars. I could go on...and on. This CD will grow on you. The songs are quiet and unobtrusive at first listen, but you'll soon appreciate the craftmanship and quality in each of them.