Antone's and Catfish Concerts Presents Gary Hartman Benefit
Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shinyribs, Asleep At The Wheel, Owen Temple, HalleyAnna, Lone Star Swing
2015 East Riverside
Austin, TX, 78741
Doors 5:00 PM / Show 6:00 PM
Watch & Listen
Ray Wylie Hubbard
With a keen eye of observation and a wise man’s knowledge, Ray Wylie Hubbard composes and performs a dozen songs that couldn’t spring from anywhere else but out of his fertile rock and roll bluesy poet-in-the-blistering-heat southern noggin. ”I like to look at both enlightenment and endarkenment,” he declares. “I feel comfortable observing each.” A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment demonstrates the kind of talent that every great songwriter yearns for. Throughout the album, his focus remains on the song- constructing and performing stories set to music that resonate in a way that is completely his own.
Hubbard recruits an ensemble of accomplished musicians to make the album’s larger than life outlaw tunes echo from track to track. Among the musicians featured on the album are Kevin Russell (The Gourds), Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams, Robert Earl Keen), Bukka Allen (Ian Moore, Jack Ingram), Billy Cassis (Bob Schneider,Double Trouble, Soulhat), Ray Bonneville (B.B. King, JJ Cale, Muddy Waters), Seth James (Percy Sledge, Delbert McClinton), David Abeyta (Reckless Kelly) and The Trishas as well as his own son, Lucas Hubbard.
The writing and recording of A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment came on the heels of Hubbard’s first screenplay endeavor, which was funded and filmed with a cast of icons including Kris Kristofferson, Dwight Yoakam and Lizzy Caplan. A weekly radio show, constant touring, and producing kept him busy, but didn’t manage to steal the Texan singer-songwriters focus. The outcome of the album is a juxtaposition of songs like “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” a fundamental gospel piece, and “Drunken Poet’s Dream,” a cowritten with Hayes Carll.
"There are two kinds of people in Texas - those that got West Texas Dust, and those that got East Texas Rust. You got both of 'em!" - Doug Sahm to Kevin Russell
Hey, we all know Kevin "Shinyribs" Russell is a loose cannon. How else to explain covers of R. Kelly's "Feelin' on Yo Booty," and Elvis Costello's Indoor Fireworks" in the same night. Most folks who follow such things consider his outfit, The Gourds, one of the best live bands in the land, in large part because of Russell's brazen eccentricities and creative syntax.
However, the most overlooked thing about Russell is that when he plays it straight - as he does for most of his latest Shinyribs record Well After Awhile - the man can produce some of the funkiest and most beautiful roots music on the planet. It's not to say the "psycholiteranaut w/8 AA batteries-tweed facade-equal parts Waylon Jennings,Robert Rauschenberg and Harvey Korman" (to quote his Twitter feed) doesn't dig into his bag of twistedness here (witness "Poor People's Store"). But a listen to the straight-up duet "Shores Of Galilee" (with Sally Allen), the sweet quasi-fable "Who Built The Moon," or the intimate cover of Sam Cooke's "Change Gonna Come" that closes the record, shows that even when Russell puts aside some of the tricks, he delivers grade-A Country Soul.
Austin, Texas-based songwriter Owen Temple masterfully constructs songs and stories about eccentric characters set in small towns and on the fringes of big cities. His country and folk music has gained much critical acclaim and he is quickly becoming known for his great lyrics full of insight and plainspoken poetry.
HalleyAnna Finlay simply sings like her songs were stamped on her heart at birth. Evidence: The Country. HalleyAnna's superb debut collection swaggers ("So Heavy") and sways ("Fast Train") with effortless elegance. The album, which deftly spotlights her meeting point between Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris, serves as a shining introduction to a skyward bound emerging talent. High watermarks – particularly, "Back in Your Arms Again" and "Peace Is Lonely, Love Is War"– already show HalleyAnna growing exponentially sharp as a songwriter.
"Experience is what happens when you don't get what you want, so songwriting makes me feel better," she says. "Any time I'd go through a heartache growing up, my dad would say, 'Well, you'll get a good song out of it.' Sure enough, I really did. You can't write every single song about how somebody broke your heart, so some of the stuff I've done is more serious. 'Back in Your Arms Again' may sound like a song about somebody who dumped you, but it has a much deeper, eternal, death-related theme about meeting in the next life."
For the last decade, HalleyAnna has honed her songwriting skills at Cheatham Street Warehouse, the legendary Central Texas listening room owned by her father, singer-songwriter Kent Finlay. She now leads the next generation of compelling writers who follow James McMurtry, Todd Snider, Bruce Robison and others who started out at Cheatham Street. "I grew up listening to people who play music in Texas," says the youthful singer-songwriter. "I really love the traditional stuff that's going on in East Nashville like Elizabeth Cook and Caitlin Rose and Hayes Carll and Slaid Cleaves here in Austin. They embody the same traditional country that I like."
All personify the literate storytelling so identified with the Texas music tradition and HalleyAnna has put her creative writing studies to good use following their footsteps. Look for further proof one her sophomore effort (due in early 2013). Americana all-star Bill Chambers (Kasey's father) produced the collection. "Working with Bill is so easy and great," HalleyAnna says. "Bill came up and was here for the summer touring with Kasey and he had about a week window to make a record with me. He brought this really nice microphone that Kasey used on 'The Captain' and 'Barricades and Brickwalls' and we did vocals pretty much live. We cut the album in five days in the Wood Shed in San Marcos."
Brian T. Atkinson, author of I'll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt
Photo by Bill Sallans