Preview Tell the Devil I'm Gettin' There as Fast as I Can by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Tell the Devil I'm Gettin' There as Fast as I Can
by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Ray Wylie Hubbard breaks the surface to present his first album in a couple of years and the faithful will not be disappointed. It seems that he’s got some profound thoughts to share against an ominous Roots Blues soundtrack. Tell the Devil I’m Getting There as Fast as I Can seethes and ruminates as Hubbard often conjures up religious imagery and populates it with heroes and villains.
In fine voice the album quickly hits a groove with guitar and a slow procession Blues rhythm. Over this his magnetic, authoritative and deep voice paints mystic images. The lyrics support his poetic status and if you pay attention then there’s his life story deep within the songs. There are many musicians he mentions from Lead Belly, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Charlie Musselwhite to The Kinks and Ray Charles. It seems that he wants to acknowledge the world in which he inhabits and their importance to his own canon.
However, let’s join the action, as there’s a lot to take in… “Spider, Snaker And Little Sun’ expects you to find the heat building as the sun fades in the west and someone hands you a shot of bourbon, sadly no ice, when Hubbard growls against a harmonica played melody. The title refers to fellow troubadours John Koerner, Dave Ray and Tony Glover. He’s warming to his night ahead now and “Lucifer And The Fallen Angels” picks things up with one of the tracks of the record. The hero of the story has a murky past, you may recollect, and as the drums relentlessly drive along then Hubbard competes with an excoriating electric lead in the background. Here Hubbard draws on the history of career with its less than early vertical trajectory. Things have got somewhat better.
“Open G’ is a master class as Hubbard plays acoustic slide in various keys and talks you through his tunings. This entertaining interlude demonstrates that he is a very accomplished guitarist. “House Of The White Rose Bouquet” recounts the sad story of the death of a lover who perished by accidentally taking his lethal medication. Conjuring up Dylan in his storytelling he adds to the color of this tragedy by telling us that she was a madam of a house of ill repute!
“Tell the Devil I’m Getting There as Fast as I Can” is sublime and we hear Hubbard’s best melody on the album. Not that he needs it but Lucinda Williams adds some vocals along with long time fan, Eric Church, long of the shiny parish of Nashville. Splendid guitar turns this into a rock anthem.
There is a lot to enjoy here and you will!