Ok I know I know I’ve been falling all over myself to push Ray Wylie Hubbard’s latest CD, Grifter’s Hymnal, but let me put in just one more plug with a foot stomper from the CD as road song of the week. Try to keep up and watch out for the vocabulary lesson he sneaks in there…..
Ray Wylie Hubbard has found his way out of the backwoods again bearing his new CD, Grifter’s Hymnal, in one hand and a bunch of chicken bones tied up with guitar strings in the other, muttering something about finally understanding the relationship between the Devil, God, and Man. You want to call this music the blues, just to try to connect it to something earthly. You know that ain’t quite right, but that’s the best you can do. You kinda want to call it rock, but not that kind of rock that makes kids jump around, the kind that makes kids go slack-jaw. You might even want to call it gospel, but it would raise the question of just whose side is Hubbard on, anyway. Stand out tracks for me are “Coricidin Bottle,” “South Of The River,” “New Year’s Eve At The Gates Of Hell,” “Mother Blues,” and “Henhouse.”
CD comes out on March 27th but you can hear tracks from it on the Taproot rotation starting March 5.
After three different people suggested I check out Adele, including my wife, I figured it was high time. “Rolling In The Deep” is a powerful song. It starts out with lone voice that sounds like it’s been lost in the wilderness for a little too long, surrounded by an ominous kick drum. From there her gospel inspired voice pulls the music into an amazing power-pop ballad.
Friends have asked, “Is this the sort of song you would play on your show?” Is it roots music? If I had to analyze it, I’d probably say no. If I put this song in a rotation with 10 other songs and asked you to pick the one that doesn’t fit with the others, this song would stand out like a sore thumb. At the end of the day, I’d classify it as a roots/pop cross over.
But that’s only if you analyze it and insist on labeling it. Fact is, this song has such a powerful, moving, inspiring feel to it, I’m happy to play this on Taproot Radio.
And if it inspires a few people to want to explore roots music, cool. Here are a few roots music suggestions I have for people who like Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep”:
Adele’s song immediately reminded me of “Dancing On Our Graves” by The Cave Singers. This is song has similar instrumentation, but it’s much more ominous.
Mavis Staples’ music with The Staples Singers is icon of the sixties era civil rights music, putting a sound and identity to the combination of spiritual and political change. She’s still making music these days and her latest CD brings her gospel sound a little more to the forefront while still making it accessible to mainstream audiences.
Another icon of soul music from the 60′s, she continues to make beautiful soulful music. I love the beautiful haunting title track from her 2006 release His Hands.
JJ Grey and MOFRO
Lastly if you want a good pop song full of power chords that taps into that soulful vibe, you can’t go wrong with JJ Grey and MOFRO. This is the video from their 2010 release, “Georgia Warhorse”
Ray Wylie Hubbard:
Finally, I have to include Ray Wylie Hubbard. It’s a stretch to go from Adele to RWH, but like Adele he is able to capture that spiritual, gospel, soul feel in the base of his music and then build on top of it. Here is is song “Rabbit” which not one of the more popular Ray Wylie Hubbard songs, but it fits well with Adele’s song and, well, it’s one of my personal favorites.
One of my favorite Ray Wylie Hubbard songs, “Drunken Poets Dream” performed live.
I this YouTube video, Ray Wylie Hubbard talks about the upcoming movie, The Last Rites of Ransom Pride, which he wrote the screenplay for and wrote the music for. Here he talks about the project and sings one of the songs from it.