Archive for Ray Wylie Hubbard

Video Du Jour: Ray Wylie Hubbard

Posted in Rock Moment with tags on January 10, 2013 by 30daysout

The great Texas singer/songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard was on “Late Night with David Letterman” last night. He performed “Mother Blues,” which is the best song off his latest album The Grifter’s Hymnal.

According to Ray’s Facebook page, the band also performed the classic “Screw You, We’re From Texas” at Letterman’s request. Surely that will turn up eventually.

If you ever have a chance to catch Ray live, don’t pass it up. He’s one of the old school Texas pickers, with plenty of stories and excellent songs that could fill up at least three live sets.

Ray Wylie Hubbard official web site

Gettin’ Ready for the Summer

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2012 by 30daysout

We've used this photo before - hope you don't mind if we use it again.

This week, in our hometown of Houston, Texas, we have had a great stretch of lovely, sunny weather. The TV nerds are telling us about temperatures in coming days that will flirt with the 90s, and there’s not a cloud in sight.

So let me be the first to welcome you to pre-summer, that short window of time before the heat is here and the time is right … to suspend all critical judgment and good taste when it comes to entertainment. This week the newly reunited Beach Boys start their 50th anniversary tour and next week the first of the big blockbuster movies (The Avengers) will be unleashed. But you don’t have to sell out just yet – there are some new music releases of actual quality out now, to help you get in the mood for the long, hot summer.

Best of Kokua Festival by Jack Johnson & Friends – Recorded live over six years of Kokua Festivals in Hawaii, this sunny sampler is anchored by Jack Johnson, who is the current generation’s Jimmy Buffett and Beach Boys rolled into one. There’s a healthy sampling of Jack Johnson tunes (“Mudfootball,” “Better Together”) but the best stuff comes from the guest stars, who include Ziggy and Damian Marley, Jackson Browne, Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, Taj Mahal, Eddie Vedder and good ol’ Willie Nelson. A mellow time is had by all. Highlights: “A Pirate Looks At Forty” (Jimmy Buffett cover) by Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews; “Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain,” by Willie Nelson w/Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. Best reason to buy it: 100 percent of the proceeds go to charity.

The Grifter’s Hymnal by Ray Wylie Hubbard – The associate dean of Texas songwriters (second only to Guy Clark), Ray Wylie Hubbard has released what many are calling his best album. I kinda thought his last one, A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is No C), was his best, but no – The Grifter’s Hymnal is packed with gritty, hard-earned truth set to some sizzling electric guitar work. If you buy only this album all year, you will still be light years ahead of the pack. Highlights: “Mother Blues,” “South of the River,” “Coochy Coochy” (featuring Ringo Starr!) Best reason to buy it: It’s a great soundtrack for an outdoor barbecue.

What Kind of World by Brendan Benson – Probably best known for performing as part of the Raconteurs with Jack White, Brendan Benson is a solid songwriter and excellent guitarist who effortlessly combines power pop and melodic guitar rock with a roots music sensibility. Perhaps influenced by his move to Nashville, Benson deftly deploys a country side that balances this listenable album nearly perfectly. Highlights: “Light of Day,” “What Kind of World” and “On The Fence (a duet with Ashley Monroe of the Pistol Annies). Best reason to buy it: Paired with Jack White’s new Blunderbuss, it makes a good one-two party shot.

Sacred Fire (EP) by Jimmy Cliff – While I was excited to get new music from the associate dean of reggae music (second only to Bob Marley), I was bummed by this five-song EP’s short run time. But what’s here is great: Jimmy covers the Clash, Bob Dylan and punk rockers Rancid (the latter’s lead singer Tim Armstrong is producer), and offers a couple originals that set up well alongside his classics. Cliff promises an upcoming full-length album, which will apparently include the tunes from this EP. Highlights: “The Guns of Brixton,” “Ship Is Sailing.” Best reason to buy it: Get the vinyl LP, which has an extra track, “World Upside Down.”

Download “Ship Is Sailing” for free at Jimmy Cliff’s website

A Postcard from California by Al Jardine – This solo album from a founding member of the Beach Boys actually came out a couple of years ago as a download-only offering; now you can get a brick-and-mortar copy with some extra tunes. Of course, the guy who sang “Help Me Rhonda” will put out a record that sounds exactly like the Beach Boys, even to the point of revisiting some of the Boys’ familiar tunes. This time around he loads up on the guest stars: Glen Campbell, Neil Young, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Steve Miller, America, Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers), Alec Baldwin (yes, the actor) and best of all, the surviving (and one deceased) members of the Beach Boys. Highlights: “Don’t Fight The Sea” with the Beach Boys. Best reason to buy it: The CD back cover has a map of California, in case you get lost while drivin’ up the coast.

Some others out now that are worth mentioning: Marley, a two-CD soundtrack to the documentary on Bob Marley; Slipstream by Bonnie Raitt; Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook by Elvis Costello; Little Broken Hearts by Norah Jones and Blunderbuss by Jack White. Wait for: We Salute You (covers) by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, May 1; After Hours by Glenn Frey, May 8; Heroes by Willie Nelson, May 15; Ram (reissue) by Paul & Linda McCartney, May 22; Big Station by Alejandro Escovedo, June 5: and of course That’s Why God Made The Radio by the Beach Boys, also on June 5.

Flooding, Fire, Greed and Vengeance

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on May 10, 2011 by 30daysout

The Mississippi River is flooding ... wait, is that a shark?!?

It’s been a rough few months, hasn’t it? What with tornadoes rippin’ up half the country, wildfires burning out of control and now the Mississippi River slithering into peoples’ homes and lives, you begin to wonder what kind of plague we’re going to get next.

We’ve all but forgotten about those earthquakes/tsunami in Japan, and the earthquakes in New Zealand, which were just a couple months ago. And don’t forget last year – man. On top of all that we have gasoline prices approaching record levels and those Al Qaeda nutcases promising they will get back to us with some big, fiery sendoff for Osama bin Laden.

It may seem kind of frivolous to spin a few tunes in this time of misery, but it helps to remember: we’re all in this together, and if we’re not going to help each other out, who is? And when all else fails, light a candle.

MP3: “Times A’ Getting Hard” by Pete Seeger

MP3: “Down In The Flood” by the Derek Trucks Band

MP3: “High Water (For Charley Patton)” by Bob Dylan

MP3: “Louisiana 1927” by Randy Newman

MP3: “Fire” by the Jimi Hendrix Experience

MP3: “Tornado Ripe” by Ray Wylie Hubbard

MP3: “High Gas Prices” by Big Bill Morganfield

MP3: “Pay Me My Money Down” by Bruce Springsteen & the Seeger Sessions Band

MP3: “Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man)” by Sam Bush

MP3: “Light A Candle” by Neil Young

2010 In Review: Our Favorite Albums & Other Stuff

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2010 by 30daysout

This was a pretty good year for recorded music, in the form of albums and in digital form. Rock artists came back with a vengeance, producing strong music and worthy albums.  Any number of indie bands offered up career-defining work, which makes the future look pretty healthy indeed.

The big news on the digital front was, uh, the Beatles on iTunes, and in just their first week on the download service they sold about 2 million songs.  Paul McCartney, now the keeper of the Beatles’ flame, appeared on “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend and performed five songs including “A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance” in tribute to his fallen bandmate John Lennon.

McCartney’s peers and inheritors in classic rock also rebounded a bit in 2010, putting out strong new material or making a splash with box-set showcases of earlier work.  Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix went the box-set route, while people like Joe Cocker, Ray Davies, John Mellencamp, Robert Plant, Heart and a few others released new albums that showed they all have a little gas left in the tank.  So let’s flip through some of our favorite albums of the year’s new material:

Street Songs of Love – Austin’s Alejandro Escovedo produced yet another album of straightforward guitar rock and this one may be his best yet.  With veteran producer Tony Visconti at the dials and with guests like Bruce Springsteen and Ian Hunter, Escovedo shows he isn’t afraid to stand toe-to-toe with America’s greatest rockers.

American VI: Ain’t No Grave – Seven years after his death, Johnny Cash shows more life than most rock artists who are still able to step up to the mic.  Recorded in the final months of his life, the album dispenses with the rock covers from previous Rick Rubin-helmed albums and deals with such classic material as Kris Kristofferson’s “For The Good Times” and the traditional spiritual that serves as the bone-chilling title track.  This, my friends, is the heart of rock and roll.

Brothers – The indie duo Black Keys, featuring guitarist/singer Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, went to the famous Muscle Shoals recording studio and tapped into some dark, muddy soul for songs like “Howlin’ For You” and “Everlasting Light.”  The album, as well as single “Tighten Up,” have been nominated for Grammy Awards but why the hell isn’t it in the running for Album of the Year????

American Patchwork – Anders Osborne is a transplanted Swede, gone to seed in New Orleans as a bluesman with a fierce talent on guitar.  The opening salvo of “On The Road To Charlie Parker” and “Echoes Of My Sins”  and gems like “Standing With Angels” show that he is also an excellent songwriter.

Emotion & Commotion – Jeff Beck is a 1960s-era guitar god who doesn’t get nearly the love that peers Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page receive.  But on this album he does what he does best – he turns in some rockin’ instrumentals and welcomes guest singers Imelda May, Olivia Safe and Joss Stone to either put a new spin on an old song (“I Put A Spell On You” with Stone, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”) or freak out Hendrix-style (“Hammerhead”).

True Love Cast Out All Evil – The godfather of psychedelia, Roky Erickson, is backed by indie-rockers Okkervil River on this definitive late-career effort.  It’s a spooky exploration of Erickson’s shattered psyche, done to the tune of old hymnals, country music, folk rock and punk fury.  A great piece of work from a truly original American artist.

Now we’re doing a dozen more favorite new releases:

1. Band of Joy – Robert Plant

2. Midnight Souvenirs – Peter Wolf

3. Tears, Lies and Alibis – Shelby Lynne

4. To The Sea – Jack Johnson

5. American Slang – The Gaslight Anthem

6. Raising The Bar – Magic Slim & the Teardrops

7. Flags – Brooke Fraser

8. Infinite Arms – Band of Horses

9. Le Noise – Neil Young

10. Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys – My Chemical Romance

11. The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

12. Wake Up! – John Legend & the Roots

Our favorite albums from Texas (beside Alejandro Escovedo):

1. A. Enlightenment  B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C) – Ray Wylie Hubbard

2. Plays Blues, Ballads and Favorites – Jimmie Vaughan

3. Country Music – Willie Nelson

4. Myth Of The Heart – Sahara Smith

5. ¡Esta Bueno! – Texas Tornados

Some great songs from this year:

1. “Fuck You”by Cee Lo Green

2. “Echoes Of My Sins” by Anders Osborne

3. “Better Days” by Ray Davies & Bruce Springsteen

4. “Tighten Up” by the Black Keys

5. “Dance Yrself Clean” by LCD Soundsystem

6. “Tender Heart” by Alejandro Escovedo

7. “The Weary Kind” by Ryan Bingham

8. “Drunken Poet’s Dream” by Ray Wylie Hubbard

9. “My Heart Explodes” by the Dollyrots

10. “The New Fuck You” by Street Sweeper Social Club

And sorry, we liked these albums too:

Slash by Slash (with Lemmy, Ozzy, Fergie and Kid … Rock)

Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All Time by Santana (with Chris Cornell, Daughtry, Rob Thomas, etc.)

No Better Than This by John Mellencamp

Scream by Ozzy Osbourne

Vintage Vinos by Keith Richards

Keep checking back during the week, as this list magically grows with daily updates:

Annual Bitching About The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Thanks for FINALLY allowing the Stooges in there, and thanks for considering Neil Diamond this year.  Now:  Stevie Ray Vaughan, Doug Sahm, KISS, Little Feat, The Meters, The Neville Brothers … and for God’s sake, THE FACES!

Box sets marketed to beneficiaries of the Obama tax cut plan:

Exile On Main Street – The Rolling Stones cut a new versions of old songs to add to their 1972 classic, which makes a compact two-CD package.

The Promise – Bruce Springsteen went back and “enhanced” some tracks on a 21-song collection of outtakes from Darkness On The Edge Of Town.  The big three-CD, three-DVD box set includes a remastered version of Darkness and a DVD of a rousing 1978 live set from Houston.

Band On The Run – Paul McCartney’s third reissue of this album, augmented with three CDs and a DVD of live cuts, B-sides and outtakes.

The Complete Mono Recordings – Eight discs of Bob Dylan’s 1960s classics, as they would have sounded on AM radio.

West Coast Seattle Boy – How much Jimi Hendrix material can conceivably remain in the vault after this set’s four discs?

John Lennon Signature Box – All of Lennon’s albums, remastered, a 10th disc of his singles and an 11th CD of his “home tapes.”

Also: Live At Leeds (40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) by the Who (4 CDs), and Damn The Torpedoes (Deluxe Edition) by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (2 CDs).  This category alone has 41 discs – put ’em all under your Christmas tree!

Finally, R.I.P. in 2010:

Alex Chilton, Solomon Burke, Houston DJ Mark Stevens, Michael Been, Phillip Walker, Dennis Hopper, Jose Lima, Ronnie James Dio, Bobby Charles, Teddy Pendergrass.

Live: Ray Wylie Hubbard, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , , on January 24, 2010 by 30daysout

Ray Wylie Hubbard

Texas has a boxcar full of “legendary” singer/songwriters, and folks in other parts of the country may have heard of some of them.  Ray Wylie Hubbard has been around for a while, he’s kind of an elder statesman of the Lone Star singer/songwriter contingent.  Saturday he offered a great little in-store performance at Houston’s Cactus Music and Video to showcase his latest album, A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C).

“The world’s worst album title,” he cracked, as he launched intoDrunken Poet’s Dream” from the new album.  The song, co-written with Houston singer/songwriter Hayes Carll, talks about a woman who likes “being naked and gazed upon,” before it flips down the list of writer’s “inspirations” that make for great literature (and shot livers).

Ray explained that he originally started making the album with Gurf Morlix, but Morlix had another commitment and told Hubbard to produce it himself.  Hubbard enlisted the help of Texas musician/producer George Reiff, and finished the album.   Just when Hubbard thought it was done, Reiff said “You know what this album needs?”  “Don’t tell me, it’s done, I don’t want to hear it,” Hubbard said.  “It needs a rock anthem.”

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Song of the Week: “Drunken Poet’s Dream,” Ray Wylie Hubbard

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 18, 2010 by 30daysout

Esteemed Texas singer/songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard has a new album, A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no C), and the songs feature fire and brimstone, mescaline and naked women, guitars and harmonicas.  “Drunken Poet’s Dream” is a highlight and here it is, as performed by Ray at a recent music festival.  The song is actually written by Hayes Carll, who is also no slouch with a guitar and a harmonica.  You can catch Ray live next weekend (Jan. 23) for two shows at Houston’s Mucky Duck, plus a free in-store at Cactus Music and Video.  He also plays Galveston’s Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe on Jan. 30 and Gruene Hall in New Braunfels on Jan. 31.

Ray Wylie Hubbard official website

Go! Texas

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2010 by 30daysout

Tonight’s the big BCS Championship Game pitting the University of Texas against the other team from Alabama.  The Longhorns’ lackluster performance in the Big 12 Championship Game against Nebraska has many “experts” picking the Crimson Tide to roll.  Whether they do or not is up for debate, however, I can guarantee you that our cheerleaders will be hotter.  Kickoff at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena is set for 7 p.m. CST.  Hook ‘Em.

MP3: “The Eyes of Texas” by the University of Texas Longhorn Band

MP3: “March Of The Longhorns” by the University of Texas Longhorn Band

MP3: “The Yellow Rose of Texas” by the University of Texas Longhorn Band

MP3: “Deep In The Heart Of Texas” by Gene Autry

MP3: “Texas In My Soul” by Willie Nelson

MP3: “Miles and Miles of Texas” by Asleep at the Wheel

MP3: “What I Like About Texas” by Jerry Jeff Walker

MP3: “It’s A Texas Thing” by Gary P. Nunn

MP3: “Screw You, We’re From Texas” by Ray Wylie Hubbard

MP3: “Texas Me” by Doug Sahm

30 Days Out Interview: Steve Christensen, “Townes” engineer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2009 by 30daysout


Last week my band, Orange Is In, was recording drums for our latest project at Rogers Recording in Houston when I stumbled upon some cool information about our engineer Steve Christensen. Steve has worked with Destiny’s Child, Jermaine Dupri, Ray Wylie Hubbard and countless others who have passed through Houston’s legendary Sugar Hill Studios. He also worked on our first two records and is not only a great engineer, but also a great guy.

During a break, we decided to go to Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys to pick up a sandwich. If you’re ever in Houston, I suggest you get the “Original.” It’s filledtownes300 with salami, ham and lots of relish, but I digress. Anyway, we’re talking and Steve proceeds to tell me that he worked on Steve Earle’s latest and greatest disc, Townes. Pleasantly surprised, I asked him if he would answer a few questions about his whirlwind trip to the Big Apple and the making of, in my opinion, the best album of the year.

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