Ray Wylie Hubbard Delirium Tremolos

A true character on the Texas singer-songwriter scene, Ray Wylie Hubbard has been a cult favourite in alt-country circles, a cowpunk proponent and has — after an on-again, off-again relationship with anything resembling a career — finally matured into a select grade of prime steak with his last few recordings. His songwriting has always been in peak form but his path somewhat erratic. His creative merger with Gurf Murlix as both guitarist and producer on his last few records has been the secret ingredient to his solid comeback. Murlix’s studio touch has resulted in well-seasoned recordings that are country-based excursions into blues and folk, not unlike the territory mined by label mate and fellow Texan, Slaid Cleaves, who joins him on "This Morning I Am Born Again.” Other notable cameos include Eliza Gilkyson, Ian McLagan, Patty Griffin, Kimmie Rhodes and James McMurtry. Standout cuts include a tasty duet with the inimitable Griffin on the somewhat autobiographical "Rock and Roll Gypsies,” "Dallas After Midnight” with Jack Ingram, and an update of David Wiffen’s "Drivin’ Wheel” that would make Tom Rush envious. This is a mature student with a new lease on life, a true gift for a good song and a future that promises to leave the limitations of cult status behind. (Rounder)