Albums Of The Year So Far (pt.3): Featuring Ian Siegal, Joanne Shaw Taylor, GravelRoad, Jack White and more…
3. Ray Wylie Hubbard – The Grifter’s Hymnal (Bordello)
I’d been dimly aware of the Texan rogue, but The Grifter’s Hymnal hit me like a wrecking-ball.
Hubbard is now in his mid-sixties, and this record rages against the dying of his light, both in the malevolent rattle of the music (in the words of Coricidin Bottle, he “lays down a groove like a monkey gettin’ off”) and the paint-stripping gallows-humour of a lyric-sheet that reads like a vendetta (the most venomous moment is New Year’s Eve At The Gates Of Hell, on which Hubbard chalks up a shortlist of grudges and dreams of dragging his old A&R man down into the pit).
A model in how to grow old without growing toothless, this album should be piped into the mansions of the rock aristocracy.