Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Ray Wylie Hubbard: Co-Starring Too [Big Machine, 2022]
The 75-year-old Hubbard actually got better as his voice evolved from amelodic to just plain old, and unlikely though it may seem, his second straight duet album actually has more jam than its 2020 predecessor. It's not like Steve Earle or James McMurtry has it in him to provide much extra vocal puissance anyway, although the Shiny Soul Sisters add major cred to the slinky soul music tribute "Groove," as do the Bluebonnets to the one that rides the indelible couplet "Only a fool uh disrespect a woman/A woman is the best thing to ever take place" and references the 19th Amendment by name. Of course he's "Gonna transcend like Henry David Thoreau/Listen to the sweetheart of the rodeo." Of course he's gonna "love a woman who's pretty reckless/Wears a bullet on her necklace." It's even possible that he's "headed due east hellbent for leather/Might even get the band back together." A-