Loco Gringos Lament
As long as you disregard its passing resemblance to Bon Jovi’s “Blaze of Glory,” the moody desperado tale “Dust of the Chase” might have been Ray Wylie Hubbard’s best chance at sneaking his literate Texas drawl onto mainstream country airwaves. There isn’t a crass note on the album, just honeyed guitars and sunset fiddles. This is some of Hubbard’s most likable and accessible work, including the love songs “Just To Hold You” and “Loves Never Die,” both of which draw from the classic tradition of Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams. Hubbard’s fringe career might have something to do with his restless musical interests. He can’t shake his love of rock’n’roll (“Little Angel Comes a Walkin’,” “Wanna Rock and Roll”), wears Bob Dylan’s influence on his sleeve (“The Real Trick”),” and pens dyed-in-the-wool soul songs (the superb “Didn’t Have A Prayer”). The title track deals with addictions and the folly of youth, and is drawn with Hubbard’s unmistakable pen: “Tempted by a thousand pleasures / It’s foolish comfort for the soul / A deadly shot in a mist of shadows / There ain’t no signpost along this road.” Even if Hubbard never crosses over to the masses, mainstream country can stand to learn a thing or two about soulful storytelling from Loco Gringo’s Lament.