When word arrived that Dallas-reared Redneck Mother RAY WYLIE HUBBARD was releasing an album made up almost entirely of covers, anticipation set in. Hearing artists break from their modus operandi to creatively interpret the works of others can be an unexpected treat. But to paraphrase Groucho Marx: I had a wonderful time—this wasn’t it. Full of plodding tempos and overlong arrangements, DELIRIUM TREMOLOS (Philo/Rounder) summons a lethargic fog that even good songs by the likes of Eliza Gilkyson, James McMurtry, and Gurf Morlix can’t seem to penetrate. Hubbard surprised everyone when he revitalized his dormant career in the nineties. He’s since defied expectations with a series of recordings, each sounding more and more like a man tired of conventional Texas singer-songwriter fare. This time, though, he just seems tired.
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