Anybody who has followed the development of Ray Wylie Hubbard as an artist over the last dozen years or so has had to be keenly aware that he's been moving through changes in lyric style, melodic invention, and production styles. He's also been on a spiritual odyssey in his music that culminated on the excellent Eternal & Lowdown. Growl is a record of an awareness gained; it is expressed in the most basic, elemental physical and emotional truths (from humor to doubt to surrender to anger at hypocrisy) in these songs.
It seems strange that folks like Ray Wylie Hubbard once lived such wild lives but have been able to make solid comebacks later in life. Strange, because Hubbard, on Delirium Tremolos, sounds as good as he ever has. Better yet, the album has a nice, mellow country sound, and Hubbard has discarded, for the time being, his penchant for preachy, comic songs.
Pianist Red Garland recorded frequently with trios for Prestige during the second half of the 1950s. For this set (reissued on CD), Garland, bassist George Joyner and drummer Charlie Persip are joined by Ray Barretto on congas and the emphasis is on forceful swinging. Garland takes such ballads as "We Kiss in a Shadow" and "You Better Go Now" at faster-than-expected tempos. "Ralph J. Gleason Blues" and the Latin feel of "Rojo" are among the highlights of this enjoyable disc.