Yesterday, I traveled to Lubbock once again, along with my wife. At the conclusion of this road trip on Saturday night, I have successfully checked off another item from my Bucket List. My Wife, Brother and Sister-in-Law also attended Ray Wylie Hubbard’s acoustic performance with me at the historic Cactus Theater.
Ray Wylie is considered to many, present company included, as an “Elder Statesman” of the Texas Music Scene. At last nights show, as well as this “Elder.” A younger Hubbard version, Ray Wylie’s own son, Lucas Hubbard shared the spotlight with him.
Lucas Hubbard amazed the crowd throughout the show. His mad skills on the guitar did not go unnoticed. He displayed intricate finger plucking as well as huge guitar riffs that equaled some of the best blues musicians I have ever heard. Now in his mid-twenties, Lucas Hubbard has been perfecting this craft since he was barely able to pick up a guitar. He was able to keep up with Ray’s setlist which included old favorites such as “Snake Farm,” “Redneck Mother,” and “Screw You We’re from Texas.”
The set also included some newer songs like his cowrite with Hayes Carll, “Drunken Poets Dream.” Ray also played songs from his most recent album, Co-Starring.
Yesterday was a perfect performance by one of the greats. I am glad I got to witness it with my own two eyes and hear Ray Wylie Hubbard’s music live with my own two ears. It is a night I shall not ever forget.
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!”
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.
Sometime ago, in what now seems as a lifetime ago, I picked up a James McMurtry CD at the Luckenbach dancehall. I only chose the CD because I had been a long- time fan of his father, author Larry McMurtry. As soon as I had the first song on the album, I realized this stuff was definitely no Lonesome Dove.
“James McMurtry is a true Americana poet – actually he is a poet regardless of genre”
McMurtry’s music is about real life America. The stories that he tells are from the heart and they could fit into anybody’s lifestyle. The song by him that is currently stuck in my head is “Out Here In TheMiddle.” This song could fit anywhere in America. It’s honest and soulful lyrics tell a story about stuff that might just happen to any of us. “Out Here In The Middle” has also been covered by another of my favorite artists Robert Earl Keen.
Some of McMurtry’s songs share his political views. Some of the views, I may not entirely agree with. However, that does not mean I do not like his music. James McMurtry’s lyrics are his truths. You either like James McMurtry or you don’t. I do not see any in between with him. The fact is that he is one of the best songwriters in this time.
“The simple fact is that James McMurtry may be the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation…”
Stephen King- Entertainment Weekly
Austin Texas based James McMurtry has been making records since the 80’s. Too Long in The Wasteland was the first piece that I heard from him, and I have been hooked every since.
Too Long in the Wasteland was McMurtry’s debut album. The album was co- produced by John Mellencamp. During the time Mellencamp was working on a film that was scripted by McMurtry’s father, Larry McMurtry.
“James writes like he’s lived a lifetime.”
James was born in Ft. Worth Texas His father is an acclaimed author and his mother an English teacher. It was his father who gave James his first guitar at the age of seven. He was raised not far from Washington D.C. in Leesburg, Virginia. Writing is definitely in his blood. In his teens he began picking and writing some. James studied English and Spanish in college. It was while in college in Tucson, Arizona that James first began performing his own songs in front of audiences. McMurtry relocated to San Antonio, Texas after college. Returning to his father’s ranch house. A home he called “my father’s itty bitty ranch house crammed with 10,000 books.”
“my father’s itty bitty ranch house crammed with 10,000 books.”
What kicked off James McMurtry’s professional career in singing and songwriting?
In the late 1980’s, a friend asked James to compete in the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk songwriting contest. He became one of six winners that year.
James McMurtry currently has multiple albums under his belt. He is an accomplished singer and songwriter. He has acted in several films. McMurtry’s music has appeared on soundtracks of more than one movie.
A recent Twitter post gave indication that In 2021 there may be plans of James McMurtry making an appearance on Ray Wylie Hubbard’s next album.
In my opinion McMurtry and Hubbard could just be the greatest songwriting duo of all time!
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 30th– This episode will feature the best of Spoon.
February 6th– A 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 13th– Is 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.
Last Wednesday night, Eric Church was crowned CMA’s Entertainer of the Year for 2020.
Church told people magazine,
“Music is the one thing that is going to save the entire world.”
Eric Church was born Kenneth Eric Church May 3,1977 in Granite Falls, North Carolina. He has released six studio albums since signing with Capitol Nashville in 2005.
The 43 year old artist, Church, has been nominated for the top prize four times previously. This was his first time to win the Crown of Country Music. This year Church was also nominated for male vocalist of the year, but Luke Combs was awarded that title.
In previous years, he has taken home other trophies from the CMA. In 2012 Eric Church received Album of the Year for Chief. 2015 saw Eric Church as the winner of Musical Event of the Year. In 2016 Mr Misunderstood was named Album of the Year.
Mr. Misunderstood is what first drew me to Eric and his music. The album was released November 3rd 2015 by EMI records Nashville. The album was released on iTunes the following day. The title track of the album is still one of the Top 25 most played songs in my playlist.
Mr. Misunderstood was written by Eric Church and Casey Beatherd. In 2016 the ACM awards gave it the title of Video of The Year. Upon it’s release the song peaked at number 15 on the U.S. Billboard CountryAirplay and Hot Country Songs Charts.
I can truly associate with these lyrics. I have never fit in with any particular click. Especially when I was growing up through my school aged years. I feel like I am misunderstood even today. My style is all me. I am probably the only guy I know whose favorite outfit to wear is a pearl snap shirt, a cowboy hat and flip flops. I love music that isn’t the top choice.. I speak my own language of southern drawl mixed with a little tex-ican. I like to laugh and have fun. I am laid back even when I should be serious. Most of the bands that I listen to never even made it to the CMA stage.
I love his songs and his lyrics. I love the fact that he gives tribute to Ray Wylie Hubbard in this song!
Speaking of RWH today happens to be his birthday!
“It’s not any more unusual to be born twice than it is to be born once”
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Happy Birthday Ray Wylie Hubbard.
“Politicians are about division. Music is about unity. And I promise you it’s going to to take everybody in this room to unite.”
Eric Church Excerpt from his speech at the CMA awards 11/11/20
When I was ten, my dad built a fort in our backyard. He used the existing picket fence to make up two sides of the structure. My fort was “two story” and had a roof which I sometimes climbed up on and used as my “third story.” The first floor was actually a doghouse, but the second and third were all mine.
From the “third story” I had a great lookout of what was going on in and around the neighborhood. I could see about 4 or 5 dumpsters, who was coming and going, and what they were throwing away. Being a dumpster diver at ten wasn’t a bad thing. I often found useful items to keep in my fort.
The best find I ever had was one day when the man across the alley, which I later learned was getting divorced, was moving out. He threw boxes and boxes of good stuff into the dumpster. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
It was on this occasion that I found a bright yellow sign that read: Lower Turtle Creek Road. The sign hung for years near a windmill and stock pond that my family owned. Later it hung at our lake place at Oak Creek Lake near Bronte Texas. Today the sign is proudly displayed in my back yard overlooking my hot tub.
I also found a whole collection of Playboy magazines, which until right now I am sure that my parents knew nothing about. My mom often reads my blog, So mom if you are reading this now, I am sorry and I only read the articles.
The greatest treasure I found in this dive, was a record album. Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Viva Terlingua.” I would have to say, that this album was my first taste of Texas Singer- Songwriters. This is a passion that I still carry with me today, 35 years later. I still have that original album.
Viva Terlingua is a live album that Jerry Jeff Walker and the Lost Gonzo band recorded at the Luckenbach Dancehall, August 18, 1973. The album was released in November of that year by MCA Nashville Records. It’s genre is outlaw country, and it captures Walker’s laid back country base with notes of “outlaw” rock, blues and traditional Mexican norteno and Tejano styles.
Side one features Guy Clark’s “Desperados Waiting for a Train.” A song I thought for many moons actually belonged to Jerry Jeff.
Side two gave me my first taste of Ray Wylie Hubbard with “Up against the Wall Redneck Mother”.
Side two opens with Jerry Jeff Walker’s Voice.
“This song is by Ray Wylie Hubbard”
Jerry Jeff Walker
The album ends with, “London Homesick Blues,” a song by another great Texas Music Pioneer, Gary P. Nunn.
I learned through a text message from my dear friend Jody this morning, that the world had lost Jerry Jeff Walker. The musician died Friday, after a battle with throat cancer.
Walker was a pioneer in the Texas music scene. He gained popularity for his 1968 song “Mr. Bojangles.”
Mr. Bojangles was inspired by a street musician Jerry Jeff Walker met in a New Orleans drunk tank.
A few years ago I built a dog run in my back yard out of pickets and I gave the dogs a window to look out into the rest of the yard.
I have been collecting signs, ever’ since I found the “Lower Turtle Creek” one. I began to proudly display these on my fence. This idea came from the Viva Terlingua album cover and of Luckenbach, Texas.
I think I accomplished the look I was after.
Jerry Jeff, Thank You for the years and the miles of giving me companionship with your words and music.
“Well, when your down on your luck /And you ain’t got a buck /In London you’re a goner/ Even London Bridge Has fallen down /And Moved to Arizona /Now I know why”
“I wanna go home with the armadillo/ Good country music from Amarillo/ And Abilene/ The friendliest people and the prettiest women you ever seen.”
Tonight I was Re visiting Ray Wylie’s Newest Album, CO-STARRING. I think I have made my pick for my favorite song on the record, “Drink Till I See Double”.
The song was Written By Ray Wylie Hubbard and Ronnie Dunn.
“Drink Till I See Double” is performed by Ray Wylie Hubbard, Elizabeth Cook and Paula Nelson, Daughter of Willie Nelson.
This song reminds me of true old fashioned country music. Ray Wylie said it was the first song in over 20 years that he has recorded with a steel guitar in it.
Paula Nelson was born out of wedlock in Houston Texas to Willie Nelson and Connie Koepke, October 27,1969.
When Willie’s second wife, Shirley Collie Nelson found out about the pregnancy, she divorced Willie. Connie soon became Willie’s third wife. Willie and Connie were divorced in 1988.
As Paula grew up she was constantly around the country music scene. As a child she often was on the road with her dad while he was on tour.
Paula recorded a duet with her father in 2013. “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” on Willie Nelson’s Duets Album ‘To All The Girls….’ She also hosts a show on her fathers XM radio channel Willie’s Roadhouse and the “Paula Nelson Show” on the Outlaw country Channel of XM radio.
Paula has always tried to make her own way instead of riding her father’s coat tails.
She has released five albums on her own.
Under the Influence
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Paula was awarded the “Female Artist of The Year” by the Country Music Association of Texas in October of 2016.
When Paula isn’t making music, she holds a Black Belt in Taekwondo and is a car racing enthusiast. She has even been a stunt driver for the TV show “Friday Night Lights.”
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.
Growing up in a record store in Ft Worth, Texas owned by his jazz drumming father was just the beginning for a singer- songwriter and actor Stephen Bruton.
Stephen’s father, Sumter Bruton was a highly regarded jazz musician from New Jersey. He would often tell Stephen, “If you are going to listen to music, listen to the best music.”
In my own personal reflection, this statement by Bruton’s father is a reminder of what my own Dad is always telling me.
“As long as you are dreaming, dream big“
Jerry Wayne “Fathead” Watson
Bruton would spend his teen years recording tracks in a makeshift home studio with musician T- Bone Burnett. He and pals like Lubbock musician Delbert McClinton would pick bluegrass by day and then soak up those soul grinding blues rifts by night on the “other side of town”.
The local clubs in Ft Worth at that time were highlighting guys like Freddie King . King’s power house voice along with a distinct guitar style soon inspired many musicians.
Stephen would soon set his sails East to Woodstock. By chance , while on his way to a gig in Manhattan he’d run into old friend Kris Kristofferson. He was offered the guitar gig in the rising stars band , launching two decades of roadwork with Kris.
Stephen would also tour with Bonnie Raitt, Christine McVie, and others.
As a studio artist, He would record with Raitt, Delbert McClinton, the Wallflowers, Ray Wiley Hubbard and too many more to list.
Stephen Bruton was inducted into the Texas Heritage song writers Hall of Fame.
Through Bruton’s long association with Kris Kristofferson, he took up acting. Appearing in films “A star is born”, “Heaven’s Gate”, and “Miss Congeniality”. He appeared alongside Kris in the movie “Convoy”. Stephen would appear on TV in a mini series titled “Amerika” and on the series, “Matlock.”
Stephen Bruton co-wrote many of the songs from the soundtrack of the movie “Crazy Heart”. He consulted Jeff Bridges and was a guitar teacher to him on the set.
Sadly , Stephen Bruton lost his battle to cancer shortly after the movie was made. “Crazy Heart”, was dedicated to this Ft Worth artists life and influential music.
My little brother turned me onto the song “Fallin’ & Flyin’ ” , not long after I sobered up. I believe the song paints a perfect picture of the insanity my life had become because of my addictions.
It’s funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’ For a little while Funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’ For a little while
Song by Colin Farrell and Jeff Brides Songwriters:Gary Nicholson / Stephen Bruton
I recently received a copy of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s newest creation the album CO-STARRING for my 45th birthday from the in-laws. There’s not a bad song on this album, and yes, it’s a real live album (vinyl record and all) CO-STARRING, released July 10 2020 by Big Machine records gets its name from an impressive lineup of stardom including Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, and country great Ronnie Dunn.
Ray Wylie Hubbard is a Poet. Ray Wylie told Pete Gile and Carley Evans on the “Troubadour” a podcast that he was featured on, that his father an English Teacher who preferred reading him The Raven over the Three Little Pigs, taught him that lyrics were important. Ray went on to speak of learning to fingerpick at age 42. This is when his musical career began to change direction for the better. “I was able to mix deep heart felt lyrics with a deep groove of blues.”, Ray says.
Ray who is now in his seventies, got sober at age 41 along with the help of the late blues artist Stevie Ray Vaughan. One of the first things that drew me to this new album was a video for the song “Bad Trick.” The song inspired by Ray Wylie’s wife Judy after he had come home from a gig that didn’t go so well, is Co-Starred by Ringo Starr originally a Beatle and Joe Walsh of Eagles fame, both of whom are also sober. Ringo helped select the lineup for this chart-topping sound. The song also features Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes and bassist Don Was.
The video was created by Brent Carpenter and most of the artists who appear on the video were not anywhere near each other while the actual filming was being done. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak that we have all been experiencing.
Ray is ready to get back on the road and hopes the virus will soon pass. I hope he can begin a tour someday soon myself. I have his name on my personal bucket list as someone I want to see live in concert.
My mom knew Ray Wylie Hubbard from her youth. She said “He was just this guy we (my mom’s cousin Deb and her) hung out with in Red River. He was just called Ray then.”
RWH grew up in Oak Cliff, a neighborhood in Dallas County. It was there he created his first band. Three Faces West. They eventually ended up in Red River, New Mexico working odd jobs by day and playing their folk music by night. It was in Red River that Ray wrote his first big song “Redneck Mother”
Ray is among my personal top five favorite songwriters. He includes two of my favorites in his own favorites list (Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark). I would encourage radio stations everywhere to play More Ray Wylie Hubbard. The world needs more poetry and less political B.S.