Ray Wylie Hubbard: An Earthy American Bard

Ray Wylie Hubbard – Earthy American Bard

Few Texas musicians have had a career as long and distinguished as that of Ray Wylie Hubbard. Although mainstream success has largely eluded Hubbard, he has developed a fanatical cult following that can’t get enough of his earthy songs. Combining folk, country and blues into one seamless whole, Ray Wylie Hubbard first received attention after Jerry Jeff Walker covered an early tune of his, “Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother.” This song was popular but also controversial, due to its apparent support for beating up hippies. In interviews, Hubbard explained that the song should be seen as tongue-in-cheek celebration of rural American culture, not an endorsement of violence.

This controversy only further exemplified the songwriter’s gift with words. After struggling to find an audience, Hubbard drifted away from music in the 1980s, only to triumphantly return with 1992′s “Lost Train Of Thought” album. Today, Hubbard is a prolific musician and is considered to be one of the elder statesmen of the Texas roots music movement. He has been cited as an influence by artists as diverse as Jerry Walker and James McMurtry. Like many other performers in the genre, Hubbard is quite popular in Europe. Reportedly, he has even been asked to produce records for a Dutch record company.

Over the years, Hubbard’s musical tour endeavors have been somewhat limited due to personal problems. Nevertheless, he has regularly released critically acclaimed albums every few years. In 2006, Hubbard reached a new milestone of critical success with the release of his “Snake River” album. This album was perhaps his most individual statement of purpose yet and featured exemplary sonic fidelity. In 2010, Hubbard released “A. Englithenment…” to nearly universal critical acclaim. Ray Wylie Hubbard had built a unique artistic voice over decades of hard work and dedication.

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