The Messenger: A Tribute To Ray Wylie Hubbard - Review
The Messenger: A Tribute to Ray Wylie Hubbard is out today- August 16- featuring an array of A-class artists from Rodney Crowell (In Times of Cold), Bobby Bare (Snake Farm), Charlie Musselwhite (Resurrection), Tom Russell (Dust of the Chase), Terri Hendrix (Without Love), and Jonathan Tyler (Wanna Rock N Roll). Co-produced by Austin-based Eight 30 records co-owners Jenni Finlay and Brian T. Atkinson. “We’re so proud of this record,” says Finlay, “and so excited to celebrate one of our very favourite songwriters and humans alive today." This collection of Wylie’s catalogue of work brings forth a powerhouse of performances through kinship with Hubbard’s genuine songwriting. The album opens up with James McMurtry’s defying cover of “The Messenger,” with his band, who also serve as the house band on key tracks. The Band of Heathens deliver a roaring version to “Drunken Poets Dream,” while Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson brings a gritty new take on “ Easy Money,” as Charlie Musselwhite brings the Mississippi blues to “Resurrection.” Bobby Bare makes mesmerising lines with his take on Hubbard’s anthem, “Snake Farm.” Del Rio, Texas native Radney Foster delivers an awe-struck version to Hubbard’s iconic tune “Screw You We’re From Texas” and mixes up the name droppin’ with new lyrics that honour the old and new defiant artists from the state. On the rootsier side, Terri Hendrix brings her rootsy, lulling vocals to “Without Love”and Jonathan Tyler travels back to the 1970’s era of glam rock delivering a wondrous version of “Wanna Rock and Roll,” and the album ends perfectly with Rodney Crowell’s version of “In Times of Cold,” with Verlon Thompson by his side with vocals and guitar. The album, rounds out as a walk through Hubbard’s life, with artists of all ages who represent the spirit of the songs, and the man who wrote them.