Growl

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Anybody who has followed the development of Ray Wylie Hubbard as an artist over the last dozen years or so has had to be keenly aware that he's been moving through changes in lyric style, melodic invention, and production styles. He's also been on a spiritual odyssey in his music that culminated on the excellent Eternal & Lowdown. Growl is a record of an awareness gained; it is expressed in the most basic, elemental physical and emotional truths from humor to doubt to surrender to anger at hypocrisy in these songs. The truth expressed on Growl -- the most aptly named of all Hubbard's recordings -- is in a dirty-hands, mud-romping, greasy, rock & roll inbred with ...
See more details below
CD
$15.64
BN.com price
(Save 13%)$17.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (5) from $7.50   
  • New (4) from $9.79   
  • Used (1) from $7.50   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Anybody who has followed the development of Ray Wylie Hubbard as an artist over the last dozen years or so has had to be keenly aware that he's been moving through changes in lyric style, melodic invention, and production styles. He's also been on a spiritual odyssey in his music that culminated on the excellent Eternal & Lowdown. Growl is a record of an awareness gained; it is expressed in the most basic, elemental physical and emotional truths from humor to doubt to surrender to anger at hypocrisy in these songs. The truth expressed on Growl -- the most aptly named of all Hubbard's recordings -- is in a dirty-hands, mud-romping, greasy, rock & roll inbred with Delta blues. This is music comprised of exposed innards, cutting honesty, scab-ripping emotion, and pure, badass Texas attitude. Produced by Gurf Morlix -- he also minded the store on Eternal & Lowdown -- the band is basically Hubbard on lead -- a first -- and slide guitars, Morlix on bass and lead guitars, and Rick Richards drums, with guests including Mary Gauthier, Scrappy Judd, Buddy Miller, and Jon Dee Graham. And it should be noted that Hubbard has become a heck of a guitar player in the last six years. There isn't a weak cut on the set, all of it drenched in the midnight smoke and grit of the blues as it couples with early rock & roll under a blood-red moon. The set opens with "Knives of Spain," which features a killer guitar part by Miller. It's a songwriter's spiritual, full of "ifs" that have already come to pass for Hubbard, which is why he can write from the craggy fissure in the center of the song's truth: "If I had some poet's wings/I would fly to New Orleans/I'd rhyme my trials and misdeeds/So if you cut the words they would bleed/And in the night when I'm all alone/And the sadness goes to the bone/I'd make the words in the refrain/As lethal as the knives of Spain." As he continues, and the band turns up the volume, bringing the tension to the breaking point, it becomes evident that all of this has already come to pass in Hubbard. His haunted voice speaks that this is the other side of the desert of revelation: it's not bliss, not rapture, but a sincere, if bloodied, gratitude and the desire to always tell a truth so mucky and messy it cuts to the bone. One could write an entire essay on this song alone, or stop here, taking it in over and over, deep within oneself, and never get to the bottom of its mystery. But Hubbard's not done; he revisits the past on "No Lie," a paean to giving up the wasted life and becoming immersed in the roots of his inspiration. Growl is not only about bad luck, hard-won wisdom, and knowledge, though. "Name Droppin'" is one of the lightest-weight tunes Hubbard's ever written, but its groove is eternal, it's backbone-slipping, humpin'-on-the-box-springs, sweating blues in raw-rock overdrive. Guitars and fiddles undulate against the rhythm section in a sinful, copulating embrace that feels so good it's a miracle it's still legal. "Purgatory Road" is a blues-drenched painting by Thomas Hart Benton. It's rough truth -- stark, knife-slashing images without judgment or anything but reportorial calm. Welcome to the hard times; this is where darkness and light don't know how to identify themselves, let alone one another. "Bones" is almost a part two with hoodoo thrown in, and the redemption in the song is in the slide blues itself. This is bottleneck playing honed razor sharp, and can be praised for plenty in its lyric and melody, but the fineness of its blue-black slash groove is enough. "Preacher" is an indictment of hypocrisy, but it's not obvious; it's rooted in the same tradition as Mississippi Fred McDowell's -- he didn't need the minister, he encountered his God personally and let the struggle of that truth come out in his playing. "Rock-n-Roll Is a Vicious Game" is a stomping throb that is equal parts roots rock smoker and is the warning side of an earlier Hubbard song, "Loco Gringos Lament," or could have been the story of the L.A. band Sublime or one of 100 other bands. The cosmic, in Hubbard's own trademark way, is revisited on "Stolen Horses," with a wrist-slipping resonator guitar burn leading his musings on reincarnation. The groove takes the body down the slippery spine road to a place where it wishes for another chance at a smoky, shimmering groove like this one and the mind to place where perhaps it considers the subject in a different, more sensual way. The album closes with a country-rocker destined to be infamous, "Screw You, We're From Texas," an anthem that tells the fools who don't understand his music to f&%$ off. "It's Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother," without the drunken pathos, is humor disguised as punked-out roots rock early ZZ Top meets the White Stripes. It works, but I'm glad it's the album's final track and not its first -- and that's not a criticism. The highest praise that can be heaped on Growl is that perhaps it should have been released on Fat Possum, the now-legendary Delta label that releases the raw-as-steamy blues records of masters such as R.L. Burnside, the late Junior Kimbrough, Paul "Wine" Jones, and the Jelly Roll Kings. It would have fit without a glitch. This is for rollin' in the hay, fighting in the mud, twisting between the sheets, and turning your partner out all over the dancehall floor; and when it's over, you'll be dirty, sweaty, grimy, and grateful to be alive to enjoy the murkier pleasures of the earth, the flesh, and the spirit.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/1/2003
  • Label: Philo / Umgd
  • UPC: 011671123721
  • Catalog Number: 711237
  • Sales rank: 46,115

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Knives of Spain (3:42)
  2. 2 No Lie (3:27)
  3. 3 Name Droppin' (3:32)
  4. 4 Purgatory Road (5:07)
  5. 5 Bones (4:13)
  6. 6 Preacher (4:22)
  7. 7 Rooster (2:53)
  8. 8 Rock-N-Roll Is A Vicious Game (4:08)
  9. 9 Stolen Horses (3:46)
  10. 10 Little Mama (2:42)
  11. 11 Screw You, We're From Texas (4:02)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ray Wylie Hubbard Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Guitar (Resonator)
Jon Dee Graham Vocals, Lap Steel Guitar
Gurf Morlix Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Electric Guitar, Tambourine, Vocals, 12-string Guitar, Jug, Hand Clapping, Electric Drums, Slide Guitar, Mandocello, Foot Stomping
Buddy Miller Electric Guitar
Rick Richards Drums, Snare Drums, Djembe
Jud Newcomb Electric Guitar, Vocals
Darcie Deaville Fiddle, Vocals
Mary Gauthier Vocals
Technical Credits
Gurf Morlix Producer, Engineer, Mastering
Rick Richards Sound Effects
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously