Sun, 17 January 2010
After nearly 40 years in the music business, legendary Austin-based singer/songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard said the decision to form his own record label had everything to do with the freedom to chart his own course as an artist and retain control of all facets of his career.
Hubbard's new album, entitled "A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no C)" (release date: Jan. 12th), is on Bordello Records, run by Hubbard's wife Judy.
"It's not the financial part of it at all," Hubbard said. "I could have gotten a deal with an independent label and had a bigger budget, but it comes back to that as I've gotten older, I really want to own my music, to own the masters.
"Having the ownership of what you create gives me a great freedom. These songs mean a great deal to me and I want to own them, and that's important to me. The whole record industry is up in the air and nobody knows what's next, and I think we can do better selling 10,000 copies ourselves than if we sold 100,000 for a label."
Hubbard said the freedom afforded by navigating his own way in the turbulent waters of the contemporary music business led directly to the new album's admittedly odd title and cover art, which are derived from the writings of Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic.
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It was while reading about the European Age of Enlightenment that Hubbard said he found the word "endarkenment."
"I thought, 'nobody uses that – what an archaic, weird word.' And then I got into it, and thought, 'what a great word that nobody uses,'" he said. "But the idea is there: if you're enlightened, and everybody else is not. It's either one or the other: either you is, or you ain't. And it just kinda tore around my head, and I thought, 'what a great thing.'
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Among those who appear on "Enlightenment" are The Trishas, a new female vocal quartet from Austin; guitarist Gurf Morlix, a frequent Hubbard collaborator and producer in the past; and guitarists Derek O'Brian (a longtime member of the Antone's house band), David Abeta (from the band Reckless Kelly) and Billy Cassis (from the legendary Austin band Soulhat). The album was co-produced by Hubbard and highly regarded Austin session musician George Reiss.
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"Songs like "Black Wings" and "Opium" and "Enlightenment" were all pretty much recorded live straight through with no overdubs whatsoever. We just went in there and did 'em. I think we overdubbed a guitar part on a couple of songs. It was all done to capture the moment — we wanted performance."
Read the full story here.
Category:music -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT