Ray Wylie Hubbard: “Mother Blues”

Next weekend marks Ray Wylie Hubbard‘s fourth year hosting a big ol’ shindig called the Grit-n-Groove Fest. This year’s fest–which’ll be happenin’ at the White Water Amphitheater in New Braunfels–features sets by rootsy acts like Hayes Carll, Sons of Fathers, The Trishas, and, of course, the man himself.

Even though he was born in Oklahoma (his family moved to Oak Cliff, south of Dallas, in the mid-50s), and wrote one of his best-known songs (“Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother”–made famous by Jerry Jeff Walker) whilst living in New Mexico, Hubbard casts a very long shadow in Texas. He came of musical age in the late 60s and early 70s, a time when Texas music–whatever you want to call it progressive country, outlaw country–was in renaissance. From his 1978 debut Off the Wall (although you could call his 1975 record with backing band The Cowboy Twinkies his debut) to last year’s excellent, down-and-dirty disc The Grifter’s Hymnal to his current side-gig as radio host, Hubbard remains one of modern Texan music’s godfathers.

Hubbard recently stopped by the studio for a chat with our own David Brown, but we couldn’t let him leave without a song. Hubbard, alone with his acoustic, performed “Mother Blues” from The Grifter’s Hymnal. Over tasty pickin’, Hubbard weaves a classic young man’s tale–the pursuit of guitars and girls (in this case, a Gold Top Les Paul and an–erm–shall we say, “entertainer,” girlfriend). It’s got grit, and plenty of groove.

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