• Ray Wylie Hubbard

Veteran Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard hasn’t mellowed a bit with age—in fact he and his grizzled, raspy voice seem to get more primal as the years pass. On his awkwardly titled 2010 album A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C) (Bordello) he celebrates the blues (“I say that Muddy Waters is as deep as William Blake”) as well as the instinctive impulse to make noise (“Pots and Pans” blurs the line between sounds made by musical instruments and those from a woman in the throes of orgasm). That’s not to say his lyrics are unsophisticated: on “Tornado Ripe” he sings, “Them clouds had grown a tail,” so that “all directions of the compass was death and kindlin’.” Hubbard’s treatments of pleasure and pain are pure old-school, a mixture of Bob Dylan and the original Country Outlaws—the band with whom he came up in the 70s.