AN ELDER STATESMAN…

Hailed in the press as the elder statesman of Texas music Ray Wylie Hubbard has been pickin’ guitars and writin’ songs for longer than I have been alive. Most of you probably know his work through Jerry Jeff Walker who made Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother famous back in 1973. With fourteen albums under his belt and almost forty years in country music industry Ray Wylie is the real deal. He has lived his music and was a sodden drunk until sometime in 1987 when he credits another Texas great: Stevie Ray Vaughan with convincing him to stop drinking.

I have to admit his first albums have not grown on me even over the years but what could one expect when one of the was named Ray Wylie & The Cowboy Twinkies? In fact almost two decades of his career is mostly lost on me. 1992 marked the release of Lost Train of Thought and that is where I believe Ray Wylie came into his own. Seventeen years and nine albums later Ray still has the stuff he couldn’t find in the 70’s and 80’s. Now I don’t know if he really is an elder statesman of the Texas music scene but I do know that he still tours, still picks his guitar, and still writes amazing music. He just finished an album that’s slated to be released in January as well as having co-written a screenplay that’s said to worthy of Sam Peckinpah. The movie is called The Last Rites of Ransom Pride and stars Dwight Yoakum along with Cote de Pablo of NCIS fame. Along with the soundtrack he wrote all of the music for the movie. For a man his age he’s a busy son of a bitch.

If you ever have the chance to see him live I would highly recommend that you don’t miss it. It won’t be a rowdy show that leaves you draggin’ ass home and it won’t be a sing-along but it will be a show that you won’t likely forget. In case you need a teaser here are some Ray Wylie tracks for your listening pleasure:

Ray Wylie Hubbard – Choctaw Bingo
Ray Wylie Hubbard – Dust of the Chase
Ray Wylie Hubbard – Dallas After Midnight

Ray Wylie Hubbard – Official Site, Ray Wylie Hubbard – MySpace, The Last Rites of Ransom Pride

11 thoughts on “AN ELDER STATESMAN…”

  1. Ray is probably my favorite living artist right now. I caught him at the Shed in Knoxville a few months back (he rarely leaves Texas) and it was a killer killer show. As soon as he hit the stage EVERYONE was up on there feet….everyone.

  2. Ray is a living legend! Anyone in the Dallas area…Ray will play the Granada Theater on Sat 8/22 with Dustin Welch (Kevin Welch’s son) and Elizabeth Cook from XM/Sirius radio.

  3. i’ve had the pleasure of opening for mr. hubbard on a few occasions. you’re right. he’s the real deal. as genuine as they come.

  4. I think he and Billy Joe Shaver have done more for the Red Dirt scene than any other four men put together. I figured my inaugural music post should be about someone who’d been around a while that hadn’t been mentioned ’round these parts all that much. It was Ray Wylie or Billy Joe and Ray happened to be on the random list at the moment 😉 I’ll get around to Billy Joe soon enough.

    He plays here in Houston at the Mucky Duck seemingly every month. It’s a good groove to be sure.

  5. Truersound: Why the hell have I never found your site before? I just dropped by and will likely be sucking up your bandwidth in the near future! Great stuff.

  6. I picked up Delirium Tremolos on basically a hunch a few years back, just because I really like James McMurtry and I’d come across RWH’s cover of “Choctaw Bingo” and loved it. I can’t say I’ve delved too far into his catalog, because his stuff is a bit harder to find up here in WI. Even so I’d still hit up one of his shows without hesitation.

  7. as great as he is when he is fully plugged in, he is even better and more shaman-like when its just him in an acoustic setting…yeah, i said shaman-like.

  8. The Wylie Lama is greatness. I really like the songs you picked to sample. For those that liked “Dallas After Midnight” that’s Jack Ingram singing with him another great Texas artist (just try to avoid the newer mainstream Nashvilly stuff and stick to the older stuff like “Biloxi”, etc.). Also, “Chocktaw Bingo” is actually a James McMurtry song (yeah, son of THE Larry McMurtry) who is another great Texas artist (do yourself a favor and listen to “We Can’t Make it Here” definitely some great songwriting here’s a youtube clip of him doing it acoustic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbWRfBZY-ng&feature=related).

  9. RWH is one of the best live performers as well on record. Saw him at the Granada Theater in Dallas, 2006. He had his son (10 at the time, I believe) join in with the band, playing a decent guitar, too. If RWH is within 50 miles of you, go and see him. He still does “Red Neck Mother”… if anyone remembers that.

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