It seems 20th anniversaries of albums are everywhere now. Off the top of my head, I know that Shelby Lynne, Wilco, and Todd Snider are all celebrating twenty years of something. Of course, some of that is because of the resurgence of vinyl, which makes it a win/win for both the artist and the consumer. I was curious about one of the albums I consider to be in the top ten of best albums ever written, and lo and behold, it was put out in 1994 – making this year the 20th anniversary.
Ray Wylie Hubbard is a great songwriter. Undisputed. Most known for songs like “Snake Farm”, “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother”, and “Screw You, We’re From Texas”. He is also known for his live shows that combine wit, rock ‘n roll, blues, country and humor, often self-deprecating.
However, with the release of LOCO GRINGO’S LAMENT in 1994, he became much more than that. He became one of the smartest men and one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard. Each song holds up on its own, but as an album, each song bleeds into the next, culminating with the last three songs that show more than any other, the songwriting genius Ray Wylie really is.
Listen to it. I dare you. Listen to it and try not to feel, try not to think, try not to empathize.
Twelve songs – all linked thematically by despair, tragedy, hope, redemption and love.
“Dust of … Keep Reading