January 24 2021

Grateful, Ray Wylie Hubbard

The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days.. Today I am having a really good day!

RAY WYLIE HUBBARD

Ray Wylie Hubbard closed out his set on Austin City Limits with gratitude. Gratitude for sharing the ACL stage with his son Lucas Hubbard. Lucas, is an amazing guitarist, if you want to appreciate a great guitar man and great music by a talented poetic, singer song writer, then you really need to watch the concert on PBS that aired this week.

RWH was grateful for the other members of the band as well, his long time drummer Kyle Schneider and Austin musicians, the keyboardist Bukka Allen and bassist Gurf Morlix. Ray Wylie expressed his gratitude to Austin City Limits executive producer, Terry Lickona for making it all possible.

“There’s no good excuse for why it took Ray Wylie to finally make his debut on Austin City Limits after 46 years, but like a fine whiskey, some things just keep getting better with age. Ray Wylie is in his prime right now, and also like a fine whiskey, there’s no better antidote to a year-long pandemic!”

Terry Lickona

Hubbard says it himself during the show, that his music is an acquired taste. I am glad I acquired the taste. He is one of my favorite artists these days in telling a story and painting that into a perfect picture with his words and music. I love the way he shows in his music his many experiences through a lifetime of following his dreams and doing what he loves to do. You can see by the way his face lights up when he plays and sings,  that being up on the stage sharing his words to the world is truly his happy place.

During the set, RWH played his oldies like “Snake Farm”. He played music from his latest album, Co-Starring. He highlighted on songs he cowrote. “Drunken Poet’s Dream” a song he wrote with Hayes Carll and “Bad Trick” that was written with his wife and manager, Judy Hubbard.

I know there are many more songs left to write and Ray Wylie Hubbard has more stories to tell. I am grateful for the experience of having front row seats to his show, even if it was on my living room TV set. After the pandemic there will be time to see him live somewhere down the road. But today I am just having a really good day by getting to absorb his words and music in my own way.

Pancho.

January 1 2021

Think I’ll stay it’s New Years Day

It’s New Year’s Day here on the border, and it’s always been this way

I never do the things I oughta, think I’ll stay, it’s New Year’s Day

It’s New Year’s Day here on the border, and it’s always been this way

I never do the things I oughta, think I’ll stay, it’s New Year’s Day

New Years Day” by Charlie Robison

 

Texas singer/ songwriter Charlie Robison wrote “New Years Day.” The song tells a story of a man who spends his New Years in a border town south of the border from Texas.

This song was released in 2004 on Robison’s Good Times album. The album was produced by long-time producer, Lloyd Maines. Besides being a quality producer, Maines is a steel guitar player and multi-instrumentalist. His music can be heard on countless recordings. Maines was inducted into the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame in Lubbock, Texas. In June 2014, He was inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame. Lloyd Maines has made more appearances on Austin City Limits than anyone else in the history of the program.

I have made it my own tradition to listen to Charlie’s song, “New Years Day,” every New Years Day since the song first came out.

I can relate to the story in the song. I too have spent a few of those days out on the border where instead of celebrating and sounding out “Happy New Years!” at the stroke of midnight, “Feliz Ano Nuevo” could be heard.

I was still in high school when I made my first border crossing at New Years. Across from Del Rio Texas was Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. The Corona Club in Acuna was one of the first places where I saw live performance from artists of the Texas Country music or “Red dirt” genres.

The Corona Club was also the first place I smoked a good cigar, something I still have an affinity for today. I have that on my plan later this day. Although I have given up the drinking and partying in Old Mexico, I have never given up cigars.  

In more recent years, my New Years has been spent on the border between Texas and Mexico at Terlingua, and Lajitas Texas. I recall the last time I was there spending the New Year at my buddy’s ranch near a great bon fire and underneath the biggest darkest skies in all of Texas. It was cold, most likely the coldest I have ever been, oh but so worth the experience. If you ever get to travel to the Big Bend regions of Texas, don’t miss the opportunity.

This New Years I stayed home. I was in bed before midnight. I made the statement earlier in the day to some coworkers that I wasn’t even planning on staying up to ring in the year. My coworkers response to this was that I must be getting old. Yes, I am a little older, a little wiser. Well, I didn’t get my wish to sleep through the ball drop. Unfortunately, last night, the neighborhood was lit with fireworks. I was mostly irritated because the noise scared my pets. At midnight, the noise outside sounded like cannon fodder raining down from the heavens. Come on people, RESPECT! Animals are truly fearful of fireworks. FIREWORKS are against the law inside the city limits. Not to mention how dry everything has been recently, fireworks cause fire! I disagree with the sale of them on New Years.

I so do wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2021. The world has gone mad. I have the hopes that 2021 will be a better year for us all. I am thankful for the sounds of silence in this cool crisp morning. I am reflecting on what was and what is to come.

I hope for some better times and more fun filled New Years Days on the border in my future. I have still got a few ghosts to chase.

Pancho.

December 15 2020

ACL remaining episodes season 46

When I posted my blog last October 6th, (Quaransing) the Austin City Limits had not completed their scheduling for this year. ACL’s 46th season lineup has now been confirmed.

As reported in the Austin American Statesman the coronavirus pandemic significantly reduced the number of acts the program was able to tape.

According to Austin City Limits, A typical year at the ACL usually features around twenty tapings. This year, the show was only to do seven. Six of the tapings this year were done without a live audience present.

One problem the pandemic caused the longstanding program for PBS was that two tapings were cancelled this year when crew members tested positive for Covid-19.

The show has made do with special events and re-broadcasting older episodes and highlights of the best in order to fill in the television slots. I personally am glad the show is available. Through the years it has worked hard to promote the best music out there.

Because of the pandemic, There wasn’t a Hall of Fame ceremony at the Austin City Limits for 2020.

January 2nd the remainder of the season will kick off with ACL Hall of Fame: The first six years. The episode will feature songs from previous Hall of Famers. 2014-2019. Artists featured will include Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Roseanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Los Lobos.

January 9th– The episode will highlight the Foo Fighters 2008 and 2014 performances.

January 16th– Austin Gospel-Soul- Blues- and Folk singer Foster will split the hour with the Nashville based band War and Treaty.

January 23rd– Ray Wylie Hubbard will give his hour- long performance. The performance was originally taped on October 21st of this year. I am a huge RWH fan. I am really excited for this one! I know Ray Wylie Hubbard is going to sing his heart out and give us one hell of a show.

On 10/21 of this year Ray Wylie Hubbard leaked the band members for the performance on Twitter. Lucas + Kyle + Gurf + Bukka.

He later posted on 10/22

“For an hour or so all was alright with the world and the heavens. Being on the acl stage with Lucas, Kyle, Bukka, and Gurf will be a portion of time I’ll hold on to with great value.”

Ray Wylie Hubbard- from Twitter

Woot Woot! I can’t wait to see the show! I hope you all will mark your calendars and watch with me! It’s only 39 days until then!

January 30thThis episode will feature the best of Spoon.

February 6thA salute to Jerry Jeff Walker and Billy Joe Shaver. Walker and Shaver two of my very favorite Texas singer/songwriters. The pair died within days of each other in October. Each of them held six performances a piece on the Austin City Limits stage.  This one is another MUST WATCH.

February 13thIs the finale of season46 for Austin City Limits. The featured artist on this episode is New Orleans songwriting legend Allen Toussaint.

I hope you can all tune into PBS each week and support the music and this wonderful television program.

Thank you, Austin City Limits.

Pancho.

October 6 2020

Quaransing

Every day, I follow my favorite artists on the world wide web. Ryan Bingham does a video each day, he calls The Cantina Sessions. Tom Russell has now produced two online music festivals, and has had several online concerts. James McMurtry and Aaron Watson play free online concerts every Wednesday. Many other artists are doing the same. In this time of quarantine these guys and gals are still trying to make a living. I call this Quaransing.

Ray Wylie Hubbard posted yesterday on his Facebook page that he will be appearing on an upcoming episode of Austin City Limits.

The taping for the show will be on October 21st however the shows date to broadcast has yet to be announced.

So far, Upcoming Episodes on PBS  for Austin City Limits 46th season are:

October 10 – British soul singer/songwriter Yola will headline her album “Walk Through Fire

October 19- Stevie Ray Vaughan 30 years on: This hour long special will feature the highlights from the Texas blues man’s incredible performances on ACL spanning three decades.

October 24- Rufus Wainright

October 31- ACL Presents: 50 years of Asleep at the Wheel

November 7- John Legend & Roots

November 14- Jackie Venson and an encore from Bonnie Raitt

November 21- The Mavericks

The rest of the lineup in this 13 week season is yet to be announced. Viewers can visit acltv.com for more news and information.

Don’t go looking for tickets to the taping in October like I did. Unfortunately due to the Corona virus this is a taping only, and there will not be an actual audience.

The ACL music fest for 2020 has also been cancelled these were for the dates October 2-4 and October 9-11. This information was confirmed by a tweet as well as on the ACL Fest Website.

RWH thinks it might be a little weird as the crowd at those tapings adds to his vibe. He said however, he’s played before when there wasn’t an audience and it wasn’t at Austin’s Moody Theater. He is grateful to be invited to play the Austin City Limits.

Austin City Limits is the longest running TV show in history. Austin City Limits TV has been awarded the Peabody award, and it is the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts.

ACL is an Official Landmark according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The show Austin City Limits was created by AUSTIN PBS, KLRU-TV.

As of the 40th Anniversary of the show, in 2014, the show established its own Hall of Fame which includes Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Lyle Lovett and more.

Austin, Texas known as the “Live Music Capitol of the World” is a haven for innovative musicians. Austin is celebrated for it’s folk, blues, jazz, bluegrass, Tejano, and indie music scenes.

I do have some fear about these times of quarantine. Music Venues and concerts have all but shut the doors. I am thankful for places like Austin City Limits who are willing to produce a show even if there isn’t an audience present. When the World gets back to normal I vow to go to more Live Concerts. For now I will just watch the quaransing, and pray that life will get back to normal soon.

We all need to support our musicians. Keep buying music, and merchandise.

A trip to a live taping of Austin City Limits is on my bucket list, I hope I can get there soon.

Pancho.

September 29 2020

When I get to Heaven

PBS will begin airing, “The Best of John Prine” on Saturday October 3rd 2020. This is the premiere episode of Austin City Limits season 46.

Watch it here: https://www.pbs.org/show/austin-city-limits/

Austin City Limits is the longest running music series in television history. ACL  features artists from every musical genre in a live concert setting. The first episode was aired on PBS on January 3rd 1976.

The show helped define Austin, Texas as the “Live Music Capital of the World”

John Prine made eight appearances on the show during his career span of over forty years. His ACL debut was during Season 3 in 1978. John’s final ACL performance was during Season 44 in 2018.

During the Season 44 episode, John played a setlist of his career spanning songs. The episode also included a guest appearance from long time Prine disciple Tyler Childers.

ACL executive producer, Terry Lickona, stated “John Prine was so integral to the essence of Austin City Limits, and few artists graced the ACL stage over the years and decades more than he did.”

John wrote country-folk songs with an unpretentious, aw- heck demeanor

Roger Ebert

John would sing magical lyrics like – “That’s the way that the goes round. You’re up one day and the next your down. It’s half an inch of water and you think you’re gonna drown. That’s the way that the world goes round.”

In 1998 Prine had surgery to remove squamous cell cancer from his neck. In 2013 he had part of his lung removed as treatment to lung cancer. The operations altered his vocals and gave him a gravelly voice but six months later he was touring again.

“that’s the way that the world goes round”

During his career, Prine received six awards from the Americana Music Honors Awards: The Lifetime Acheivement Award for songwriting(2003) Artist of the Year(2005,2017,2018), Song of the year for “Summers End”(2019) and Album of the Year for “Tree of Forgiveness”(2019).

In 2019 Prine was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2005 John Prine became the first songwriter to read and perform at the Library of Congress.

Prine’s lyrics are simple yet phenomenal. He goes places other song writers only dare to go, and he goes there with his own style.

John felt that his success was created only out of dumb luck. Luck like that day Kris Kristofferson walked into an empty club in Chicago and heard him play.

I think his success was out of his wide imagination and the ability to paint a picture through his song. The Prine song “Lake Marie” is a perfect example of this ability.

John Prine passed away last April due to complications from the corona virus. He leaves a void in the music industry that no one else can fill.

One of John’s final recordings was a song called “When I get to Heaven”. I am most certain that he lives there now.

When I get to heaven, I’m gonna shake Gods hand

Thank him for more blessings than one man can stand

Then I’m gonna get a guitar and start a rock-n-roll band

Check into a swell hotel, ain’t the afterlife grand

John Prine, you certainly had a grand career. Thanks for the music and the memories.

I will see you when I get to heaven,

Pancho