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Delirium Tremolos

4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 25, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard offers originals & interpretations of writers such as Woody Guthrie, Eliza Gilkyson, Roger Tillison, James McMurtry, & Slaid Cleaves. Out of many voices, Ray Wylie Hubbard has crafted an album uniquely his own. Delirium Tremelos brings a deeply-focused emotional honesty that hits the heart dead center.

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Though Ray Wylie Hubbard ran with the rowdiest in progressive country through the 1970s, when he fronted the Cowboy Twinkies and wrote "(Up Against the Wall) Redneck Mother," he has since matured into one of the most reflective of Texas troubadours. Following a pair of bluesier releases, Hubbard returns to his folk roots with a collection that could pass as a Lone Star coffeehouse hootenanny. He applies his warm, weathered voice to "Drivin' Wheel" (popularized by Tom Rush), harmonizes with Eliza Gilkyson on her bittersweet "The Beauty Way," and collaborates with Cross Canadian Ragweed's Cody Canada on the hipster's credo "Cooler-N-Hell." A hallelujah chorus including Gilkyson, Patty Griffin, Slaid Cleaves, and Bob Schneider transforms a Woody Guthrie lyric into an a cappella spiritual ("This Morning I Am Born Again"), while the acoustic rendition of "Roll and I Tumble" evokes the rural roots of the blues standard. Though this collection spotlights Hubbard more as an interpreter than a songwriter, he revisits his outlaw days with "Dust of the Chase" and "Dallas After Midnight," trading verses with Jack Ingram on the latter. The album pulls out all the stops on the eight-minute closer "Choctaw Bingo," powered by the dual guitars of songwriter James McMurtry and producer Gurf Morlix. Its reckless spirit suggests that Hubbard hasn't totally settled down. --Don McLeese
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 25, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Philo
  • ASIN: B0006V6TLC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,486 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Ross on March 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Playing Time - 45:35 -- Ray Wylie Hubbard may be best known as the composer of "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother," and he also wrote "Wanna Rock `n Roll," Cross Canadian Ragweed's party anthem. On his "Delirium Tremolos" album, the Texas singer/songwriter with the strong, growling baritone primarily interprets songs of Eliza Gilkyson, Roger Tillison, James McMurty, Slaid Cleaves and others. Three originals from his own pen are also offered. "Dallas After Midnight," originally recorded about 20 years ago with the Lost Gonzo Band, is a hard-hitting tale of a liquor store robbery gone wrong with all its social commentary. Jack Ingram sings with Ray Wylie on this number. Another Hubbard ballad, "Dust of the Chase" relates the story of a scripture-reading gambling man who is "lost in the dust of the chase" that his life brings. Written with Cody Canada, "Cooler-n-Hell" is straight-ahead blues that speaks to those things under heaven which are cooler-n-hell.

When choosing covers, Hubbard shows an affinity for meaningful songs that are both funny and serious. His socially conscious messages have built him plenty of fans in the alt-country crowd. Back in 70s, Hubbard and his Cowboy Twinkies band had a very short fling with Warner Brothers. Some additional albums followed during the 80s. The decade of the 90s found him cleaned up after 25 years of drugs and alcohol and with some top Americana releases such as "Eternal and Lowdown" and "Growl." At age 43, Hubbard also took his first guitar lesson, learned to fingerpick and actually began to study songwriting. On the road, he carries an inspirational book entitled "Letters to a Young Poet" by Rainier Maria Rilke.
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Format: Audio CD
Texas seems to produce an awful lot of singer-songwriter story telling types, and Ray Wylie Hubbard ranks right up there with Robert Earl Keen Jr and James McMurtry as one of the best.
I am not originally from Texas, but I have been aware of Hubbard's songwriting genius since Jerry Jeff Walker introduced him to the wider world back in the mid-70s with a cover of the riotous Redneck Mother. Since that time, I have been an occasional fan, picking up a Hubbard CD here and there as I became aware of a new release.
Delirium Tremolos is no different. A friend who is a regular buyer of Hubbard recordings alerted me to this about a month ago and told me how much he enjoyed it, so I gave it a shot.
As you might already know from the industry blurb or from other sources, this is a collection of mostly cover songs written by somewhat obscure songwriters, some of whom are unfamiliar to me. That's OK, I like to find hidden treasures, and there are a lot to discover on Delirium Tremolos.
My favorites are Eliza Gilkyson's The Beauty Way, Roger Tillison's Rock and Roll Gypsies, Gurf Morlix's Torn In Two, the Hubbard/Canada joint composition Cooler-N-Hell, and James McMurtry's epic Choctaw Bingo. That last I like specially because of its wry humor and because I know all the places mentioned in the song. Though I'd yet to hear McMurtry sing Choctaw Bingo himself, the way it is written has McMurtry all over it. To add to the listener's enjoyment, Hubbard brings in McMurtry to play guitar on this rendition.
I also like Dust of the Chase, though it took me a while to warm to the version here. The original is on Loco Gringo's Lament, and in my opinion, is the best song Hubbard has ever written!
If you are into alt-country outlaw type music, you are sure to like Delirium Tremolos whether or not you have heard Hubbard before. Give it a shot, you can't go wrong.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Delirium Tremolos" is the best CD I've heard in a month of Sundays. The craggy old Texas singer/songwriter mostly sings songs by other people, backed up by fabulous guitar work and female singers on some tracks who counterpoint Hubbard's growl with a bit of sweetness.

I suppose you would call RWH's style alt.country. His formula is to sing songs with interesting --sometimes deep, sometimes humorous, always surprising -- lyrics, backed up by heavy duty guitar work and little quirky touches such as a harmonica or a gospel organ that breaks in now and then. Maybe he's more like Lucinda Williams than any other artist -- although Hubbard seems to me to have a broader range of interests.

"Driving Wheel" is perhaps the most melodious song on the CD with a killer steel guitar wailing in the background and Patty Griffin adding her voice to the choruses. "Dust of the Chase" features an eerie harmonica weaving in and out of the vocal. "Choctaw Bingo" is eight minutes of hypnotic chanting and heavy, heavy guitar. All the other songs are equally interesting.

At first listen, this sounds like a CD that will be an all-time favorite of mine.

Smallchief
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Format: Audio CD
I was shopping for some new music in the Americana section and I picked up this CD and I don't know, for some reason it really appealed to me, so I bought it, which I usually won't do on a whim because I don't like wasting my money on music I don't like. I loved this CD immediately and have really been drawn to it more and more. Ray's voice is very haunting, the music is fantastic, and to me it has this Pentacostal-RebelReligion-Hillbilly type feel with a message and I LOVE IT, reminds me of Lucinda Williams (Get Right With God).

I would highly recommend this album. I am definitely going to check out more of his music.
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