Ray Wylie Hubbard

Delirium Tremolos

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It seems strange that folks like Ray Wylie Hubbard once lived such wild lives but have been able to make solid comebacks later in life. Strange, because Hubbard, on Delirium Tremolos, sounds as good as he ever has. Better yet, the album has a nice, mellow country sound, and Hubbard has discarded, for the time being, his penchant for preachy, comic songs. It doesn't hurt that the album's been produced by Gurf Morlix, nor that he's joined by great harmony singers like Patty Griffin and Eliza Gilkyson. Hubbard's choice of songs are solid too, combining deep but real lyrics ("And the rock and roll gypsies are ridin' tonight/ On the carnival strips they'll stay") with good melodies and hooks. The first three songs, "The Beauty Way," "Rock and Roll Gypsies," and "Dallas After Midnight," are all keepers, and a beautiful start to a solid album. Other good songs include "This Mornin' I Am Born Again," a gospel-flavored hymn that even pagans should dig. Delirium Tremolos only runs 45 minutes, which means that Hubbard and Morlix resisted the temptation to fill the disc with less than satisfactory material. Roots fans and anyone who enjoys good songwriting will want to pick up a copy.

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