Posts Tagged ‘Ray Wylie Hubbard’

Looking Backwards: 2010 (Songs of The Year)

So this will be my last of the 2010 posts, these are the songs I will call songs of the year for 2010. Just songs I dug, you have likely heard them all already cause I have put them on other mixes etc..but here they are all together. It was initially supposed to be a top 10 but hell I added one bonus song.

Bonus Track: 11. The Black Keys – Sinister Kid
This is what happens when the Black Keys FINALLY add some bass to the mix

10. Jamey Johnson – That’s How I Don’t Love You
I didn’t really talk about Jamey much on here because well…he get’s a lot of press everywhere else, but this song is haunting and fucking great

9. Will Kimbrough – Wings
Definitely one of the songs of the year, and probably the only uplifting song on this mix

8. Ray Lamontagne & The Pariah Dogs – Beg, Steal or Borrow
A perfect updated throwback to 70’s country rock ala Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue

7. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – You Won’t Let Me Down Again
How good is this song? Fucking good…love the little screaming thing in the background

6. Ray Wylie Hubbard – Loose
With a line like “Even her momma said she was always trouble/promise him everything, give him half and charge him double” how could this not make the list?

5. The Fox Hunt – It Suits Me
John Miller continues to impress with his songwriting and singing. The band is on fire with this one

4. Glossary – Through The Screen Door
On an album full of killer songs hard to pick just one but this one particularly resonates with me

3. Justin Townes Earle – Slippin’ and Slidin’
I remember when I saw Justin on Mt. Stage prior to this albums release and he played this song. It has stuck with me since, add Isbell to the studio version and holy shit!

2. The Sadies – Tell Her What I Said (from iTunes Session)
This song off Darker Circles was one of my favorites, but when I heard this iTunes session version with one of the best guitar solos played I couldn’t stop playing it.

1. Kasey Anderson – I Was A Photograph (Blake’s Song)
This has been the song of the year since the first time I heard it, one of the most powerful songs you are likely to hear

Download the mix here

Looking Backwards: 2010 (Ray Wylie Hubbard)

No secret I’m a huge Ray Wylie fan, this is another killer vid from the Music Fog crew of Ray performing Drunken Poet’s Dream off A: Enlightenment, B: Endarkenment, Hint: There Is No C

Random News: Last Rites sees release, Scott Miller gear stolen, Fox Hunt lineup changes

Just some quick news here:

  • Last Rites of Ransom Pride, the western starring Kris Kristofferson, Dwight Yoakam, and written by Ray Wylie Hubbard is finally being released…..straight to DVD. I noticed this at the Red Box yesterday as it was shown as an upcoming release. Very excited about this. Look for it next week at Red Boxes nationwide.
  • Scott Miller had a good portion of his gear stolen in Buffalo, NY earlier this week. Here is a blurb from Scott: Thanks for all the support folks, the good news – they didn’t get the guitars, the bad news they got my amp and assorted stomp boxes, cables etc. also got my back pack with all the song notes from this summer of writing for the next record. Check the notes for amp info if you are poking around ebay or Craig’s list. The best news, I’m still touring and the shows have been great. (The amp in question is a Roland AC 90A, serial no. ZW50442)
  • The Fox Hunt announced yesterday that Matt Kline will be leaving the band and Darrin Hacquard and Paul Young will be joining. Tonight’s show in Frostburg, MD is actually Matt’s last show with the band. He will be missed as his songs dominate almost half of the excellent Long Way To Go (Troublemakin’ Woman, Sinner’s Like Me, Get Back Home, Lower Than I Should Be, When The Roll’s Called). I look forward to hearing the new Fox Hunt and whatever Matt decides to do.
  • Just a quick note of some great shows of interest in and around the SW VA area this month:
    • Tim Barry tomorrow (Oct. 2nd) at Highland Dog Park in Roanoke around 4pm or so (dog and kid friendly show)
    • Scott Miller next thursday (Oct. 7th) at Kirk Ave Music Hall in Roanoke
    • Cadillac Sky will be returning to Kirk Ave Music Hall in Roanoke next Friday (Oct. 8th)
    • The Black Twig Pickers will be playing all over the area in support of their newest album Ironto Special. This includes Meadowbrook Library in Shawsville at 10am tomorrow, and at Gillies in Blacksburg tomorrow night (Oct. 2nd), The Cellar in Blacksburg on the 13th, Blacksburg Farmers Market on the 23rd, and Floyd Country Store on the 29th
    • Josh Ritter will be playing a solo acoustic show at Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg, WV next Friday (Oct. 8th)
    • The Avett Brothers will be playing the Roanoke Performing Arts Center on the 22nd
    • The Del McCoury Band will be playing The Jefferson Center in Roanoke on the 28th
    • The New Familiars will also be playing Roanoke on the 28th, at Kirk Ave Music Hall
    • Some upcoming Mountain Stage shows in Charleston, WV of interest:
      • Oct. 10th – The Hold Steady, Joe Pug, Crooked Still
      • Oct. 17th – Alejandro Escovedo, Felice Brothers
      • Oct. 24th – Jenny and Johnny, JJ Grey (and Mofro I’m assuming)
      • Oct. 31st – Carrie Rodriguez, Jimmy Webb

Song Cypherin’: Ray Wylie Hubbard – The Messenger

This is something I’ve been thinking of doing for a while. The seed for this was planted a few months back when a bunch of us on twitter were discussing the meaning of some of the lyrics to DBT’s Goddamn Lonely Love. Now I had another song in mind originally but never did post that so I’ll just move on to this one which has been on my mind a lot more lately. I will eventually post the other, and likely do some more of these as I think about it. I’m hoping we get some sort of discussion going on here. In my opinion the thing that makes great songs great are the slight openness to the lyrics, the ability for the songs meaning to mean multiple things to multiple people no matter what stripe of life you are from. So this below is simply my interpretation of what the song means to me. Please chime in with your thoughts in the comments.

Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “The Messenger” is one of my all time favorite songs. Ray himself states that this was one of the first songs he wrote when he cleaned himself up and learned to fingerpick in the early 90s. To me the message of the song is one of finding contentment, not through material possesions or love or religion, but from within. To truly know yourself, and know your fears, and accept those things is the path to contentment the songwriter has taken. This gives the song an almost zen like quality. Let’s examine some specific verses:

I’m wearing old boots
high cuban heels
my soles they are worn
and I stand here by grace
my trousers are torn
and my jacket is borrowed
and I’m wearing my time
behind the lines in my face

My favorite thing about this verse is the double meaning you can take from the “my soles they are worn” line which could imply that the singer’s soul itself is worn. I don’t know if that’s the intent but that’s how I like to take it. As for the soles of his boots themselves being worn, to me this signifies a person who has done some serious walking, perhaps searching for something. Then you have the lines about standing here by grace, and wearing his time behind the lines in his face. This tells me this is a person who has been through some shit and came out the other side of it with more than a few wrinkles to show. This leads us into the chorus:

I am not looking for loose diamonds
or pretty girls with crosses around their necks
I don’t want for roses or water
I’m not looking for god
I’m not looking for sex

Now that combined with the opening verse really gives you a great intro to the narrarator. My take is he’s someone who has been troubled, and has been searching for contentment through many means such as money (loose diamonds), love (pretty girls with crosses around their necks), admiration (roses), religion, sex, etc… but he has found contentment on his own and he is no longer searching for these things. It’s been a long hard journey for him to reach this realization. This particularly becomes clear in live versions where he says he’s not searching for god now. Let’s look at the remaining lyrics:

now I’ve worn out my welcome
in certain small circles
in spanish bordellos
and confederate states
but there is an angel
in her leathers and kindness
who whispers my name
behind heaven’s gate


and all the true believers
are out on the road tonight
no matter what happens
you know they’ll be OK
well the Rock and Roll Gypsies
was the last song they sang
by Hearts and Flowers
down in old Santa Fe

now I have a mission
and a small code of honor
to stand and deliver
by whatever measures
and the message I carry
is by Ranier Maria Rilke
he said “our fears are like dragons
guarding our most precious treasures”


That last verse….man that is one of my favorite verses in all of music. It really brings the entire meaning of the song home for me. “Our fears are like dragons guarding our most precious treasures”…WOW, what a line. It is from the book Letters To A Young Poet, which Ray claims was given to him and really made him reexamine how he was writing songs. But what does it mean? To me it means our fears are the things keeping us from finding our own “most precious treasures”, and in order to find contentment, we must conquer our fears. Now that is just one interpretation I’ve come up with, but it’s my favorite, especially in concert with the rest of the song. Now the lyrics I posted here are from the 1994 version on Loco Gringo’s Lament, during live performances, he often changes some of the lines around:

The most dramatic change is in the bridge in which he now sings:

and all the true believers
are out on the road tonight
and no matter what happens
well you know they’ll be OK
and to the rock and roll gypsies
may last song you sing
be by Mr. Townes Van Zandt
if your out in Santa Fe

I take this as a tribute to Townes Van Zandt who died in 1997. The original verse references the group Hearts and Flowers who I don’t know much about except they were an obscure group from Santa Fe and wrote the song Rock and Roll Gypsies which Ray recorded a version of on the album Delerium Tremolos.

Well, to finish this up, that’s my take on it. A song about a man who has been searching most of his life trying to find contentment and he has finally found it. Would love to hear what you all have to say.

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Ray Wylie Hubbard – The Messenger (live with Gurf Morlix)

Show Report: Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic 2010

As most of you know I lucked into being in Texas around the fourth for business travel, so I extended my stay and drove down to Austin for the infamous Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since this was business travel I would be flying solo but it was just too good an opportunity to see some of my musical heroes to pass up.

I have learned since that this was the return of the picnic to Austin, the venue, The Backyard, was created specifically for this event, and the picnic was it’s inaugural event (though not the first…go figure). I had a time finding the place because it was so new it wasn’t listed on my rental car’s GPS and there really were no markers. Luckily I found it after a pleasant ride about 2 miles too far down TX-71. Really beautiful country outside of Austin…the hill country they call it. Very pleasing to a mountain boys eyes.

So I rolled into The Backyard…just a big dirt covered field, not too much traffic…it was about 11 or so….I could hear the national anthem being sung…this thing was just getting started. By the time I walked through the gate the opening gospel band The Blackwood Quartet were just wrapping up the opening ceremonies. There weren’t too many people there yet…..and those rolling in were just starting to claim their spots. I began walking around examining the grounds and waiting for the next artist. The place was so new the sod was still freshly rolled out. Luckily it wasn’t very muddy…it had been raining most of the week in Austin, but it appeared they had just laid the sod out that morning. The place was not exceptionally large, about medium sized, lots of seating area, plenty of food vendors, even more beer vendors. They had giant vats of free cold water placed throughout the place, and that was nice. They had real bathrooms along with port-a-jons…all this around the outer perimiter of the “inner sanctum”. I am calling it the inner sanctum because well…once you go in….you stay in, cause if you leave you can’t come back in. Which brings me to another point, probably my only gripe: I was unsure what all I could actually bring in. The website and ticket said I could bring no food or drink in and no “professional” looking cameras (my POS camera looks like an SLR though it is not), so I brought nothing with me. But when I get in there I see people carrying big jugs of water, blankets, big bags of crap, all kinds of stuff. Damn.

So the next act up was Ben Burgess….kind of an easygoing Jack Johnson type of thing. Not really my thing but decent enough. People were still strolling in. They made an announcement that they had now sold out. Roughly 8,500 people would be showing up for this thing. Next up was Amber Digby followed by Pauline Reese. By this time I had worked my way down to the stage area because I didn’t really have any intent on camping out somewhere and wanted to be up close. I had heard of Amber Digby before had never checked her out….she did about 3 songs and all 3 impressed me enough to find out more about her. Pauline Reese wasn’t too bad either, though a little more “sheryl crow-ish”.

Jody Nix (image from

The next performer, Jody Nix and The Texas Cowboys,  were probably my favorite of the day, and that’s saying a whole hell of a lot considering who all played. These guys came out of the gate with just searing, full-throttle western swing. Now I’ve never really been exposed to western swing live, but I’ve been to many a bluegrass jam and let me tell you…Jody and the Cowboys reminded me of those magical moments when you get a group of old bluegrass musicians together and they just play flawlessly and full of energy and it’s just perfect. Makes you want to just get off your ass and shuffle your feet. Come to find out Jody is a legend in western swing, having played with Bob Wills himself, and even taking over his fiddle duties on the Bob Wills “For The Last Time” album. Let me tell you, it was clear that Jody had been in the business that long. What a showman, knew just how to work the crowd and just brought so much energy with him. Definitely a highlight of the show for me.

After that killer set came The Geezinslaws. The announcer said they had played every picnic since the beginning. Now I will admit, I thought the Geezinslaws were only a novelty act, only knowing them from their semi-hit song in the 80’s “Help I’m White and I Can’t Get Down“. Boy was I wrong. These guys brought it, with a mix of outlaw country, folk, and southern rock. Highlights from their set include “You Call It Country (I Call It Bad Rock And Roll)” and “You Shoulda Seen Me When I Was A Kid”. It was also around this time the Ray Wylie Hubbard walked directly behind me and I turned around shook his hand and gave him a holler. No one else around me seemed to know who he was. They would soon enough. The Geezinslaws ended their set by leading the crowd in the Pledge Of Allegiance….reminding everyone that is WAS Independence Day afterall.

It was around this time that I met up with a couple who came up from San Antonio and it is her you can thank for all of these pictures (except where otherwise noted). Pretty much everyone I met there were great folks and all there for the love of good music. By this time the crowd had really started to pick up, and folks were scattered all about the field on their blankets and mats and such. Scurrying around buying their souvenirs and Best Wurst brats (really good BTW).

Freddy Powers was the next performer, and he was very old and feeble. They had to help him on and off the stage but man….what a legend. Every song he sang was a song he wrote, and a song you know. All classic country standards like “I Always Get Lucky With You”, and “Let’s Chase Each Other Around The Room Tonight”. Both big hits for Merle Haggard. It was around this time that I started drinking, you can blame Eddie and Rachel from San Antonio for getting me that first tasty Lonestar tallboy. Perfect companion to the Texas heat and classic country.

Next up was Kevin Fowler, now I will admit I’m not really a fan of his, but I will say that the ladies sure are. They came down to the stage in droves to hear him sing about his “willie” and “beer, bait, and ammo”. Luckily I had a couple more Lonestars to keep me company. It was also around this time that I met a whole crew of people from a bar in Charlotte, NC called The Thirsty Beaver Saloon. A bunch of great folks who loved their country music and were some of the most knowledgeable country music fans I think I’ve ever met in person. Really look forward to heading down to Charlotte sometime in the near future and checking out their bar, which I can only imagine is about as close to an old honky tonk as you can get in this day and age. So now I had found myself a good gang of concert buddies so I was able to happily continue consuming my Lonestar tallboys and enjoy all the great music ahead. That is also why things got a little fuzzy from this point on.

Ray Wylie Hubbard & David Allan Coe

Next up was one I was really looking forward to, of course it’s Ray Wylie Hubbard. He comes out guitars blaring, man I just love him. He did about 6 songs including Snake Farm, Drunken Poet’s Dream,  Wanna Rock & Roll, and David Allan Coe came out to perform Redneck Mother with him…another highlight of the festival. I will say that Ray’s son Lucas has only gotten better on guitar since I last saw them perform about a year prior. He played a fuzzed out psychedelic-twang solo during Wanna Rock and Roll that would make Billy Gibbons smile.

After Ray was Asleep At The Wheel, a really tight band and great performance, but a little weak sounding after hearing Jody Nix’s masterful set. I will say though, that girl singing with them sure had a set of pipes on her. Girl could flat belt out some songs. Really dug Ray Benson’s walnut “texas” tele too. Jamey Johnson came on after Asleep At The Wheel, and again the ladies came flocking to the stage. Like I said a minute ago things started to get fuzzy around this time but I will say he put on a good show. Check out the picture below of the guy who was painting water colors of all the performers (and some of the audience) all through the show. That’s Jamey Johnson he’s painting there.

Jamey Johnson water color

At this time I feel this post has gotten excessively long, so if you’ve made it this far I will just hit some high points of the later end of the festival. Johnny Bush, I was not very familiar with Johnny Bush, but damn he put on a hell of a show. Johnny was the writer of Willie’s hit Whiskey River and when Johnny performed his version he added in a verse begging Willie to never quit singing Whiskey River. I’m going to definitely be digging through his discography after seeing him. David Allan Coe came out with a rastafarian beanie on his head and multi-colored braids in his beard. He ran through all his major hits, but for some reason played a Kid Rock song. Hmmm….well he’s David Allan Coe and he can do what he wants. I will say one of the girls from the Thirsty Beaver wasn’t too fond of that particular song choice. Los Lonely Boys came on and did some killer Stevie Ray Vaughan inspired Texas rock and roll, followed by Del Castillo who did some crazy rock and roll inspired flamenco. Them boys got the ladies dancing let me tell you. Wasn’t nothing wrong with that. Sometime after that we had Randy Rogers come out and do a solo acoustic set that was pretty good, then a group called Folk Uke who did these irreverent folk songs like “Shit Makes The Flowers Grow”. Willie’s daughter Paula Nelson came out and did a few songs until finally….

Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson…the man. He came out and did a solo acoustic set….ran through all his basic hits. I remember particularly loving him doing “Loving Her Was Easier”. I need to see Kris in a more intimate setting that this, but still great to see him at all. Following Kris was Jack Ingram….what the hell…how does that happen? I will say Jack did perform Barbie Doll and name dropped Todd Snider, so that was cool. At this point in the show the sun had went down and the crowd at the front of the stage (where I was all damn day) was really starting to pack in and hunker down. The set changes were also taking a much longer time than before, and no one wanted to leave the crowd for fear of losing their spots.  This led to a couple things: 1. the crowd was starting to sober up (apparently they had completely sold out of beer by this point), and 2. they were worn out and starting to get restless. But we had reached the final stretch here and it was just a matter of time before Willie came out. People in the crowd were starting to wonder if he was even there. Rumors began flying through the crowd, and speculation due to the fact he had yet to make an appearance with any of the performers, which veterans of the picnic said was “weird, man”.

So the final stretch, first up was the legendary Ray Price. The definite highlight of this set for me was Kris Kristofferson coming out with him and singing “For The Good Times”, man what a great moment. After Ray and another lengthy set change…we were treated to Leon Russell. Leon came out dressed in all white, white hair white beard, looking like god and glowing like an angel from the stage lights. His set was great…just funky country soul. Got the crowd pumped back up again and forgetting that they had been standing for nearly 12 hours.

After Leon, the announcer came out and promised us that Willie was up next….all right….everyone was getting antsy, and this set change seemed to take an extra long time. Finally a group of young men came out and began playing banjos and such. Hmmm….maybe this is Willie’s backing band. Also where the F is Billy Joe Shaver (another I was looking forward to, turns out he had heart problems and could not make the show). Well this band that came out was called The Reflectacles, and while the weren’t bad…..the big problem were….THEY WEREN’T WILLIE. I think many in the crowd we just a little upset at this, some actually left at this point as it was damn near midnight. Now I will say about The Reflectacles….how they landed this spot, I’ll never know…but they did put on a hell of a show and even got most of the crowd back into it. Their style was nothing like Willie, more akin to The Avett Brothers, though not as lush, and the drummer was one hell of a damn drummer! After they played through their set…finally….

Willie! image from

Willie came out and joined them…played a few numbers, then Paul English, Kristofferson and Ray Benson come out. Willie didn’t come out till well after midnight, and I bet he played for about 2 hours. Was a hell of a show. When it was all over….after multiple encores, I turn around to head out of the venue and the first thing I notice is almost everyone is now gone. No one was on the grass anymore, and the only people there it seemed were those of us up front at the stage. That’s a shame, but Willie put on one hell of a show, and I was glad to be there to see it.

Well if you made it this far congratulations….this was a grueling post much like the concert. Hopefully it was worth it (the concert was).

Here are some pictures from Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (you can see my shoulder in two of the Jamey Johnson pics…blue Hawaiian shirt)

You can also purchase Willie’s performance from this as a digital download here

Ray Wylie Hubbard’s yearbook

I was trolling around ebay earlier and came across this. Thought it was interesting so decided to post it.

Ray Wylie Hubbard’s 1965 Senior Yearbook from Dallas Adamson High School in Oak Cliff, TX. Signed and with a little note to the original owner (you know, it is a yearbook)

There is a signed copy of the Three Faces West record on ebay right now as well. Though that seems to be going through some kind of bidding war.

Another thing….when I was in Dallas I noticed a Lake right outside the city called Lake Ray Hubbard. Wonder if there is any relation, or did they just love him so much they decided to name a lake after him?

Texas Week & Songs about Dallas

I’m dubbing this “Texas Week” at ATS because well, I’m in Texas. Dallas to be specific, though next weekend I will be in Austin. So I thought we would kick this off with some songs about Dallas specifically (because there are A LOT of songs about Texas).

So here are a few of my fave songs about Dallas, TX.  What are some of you guys favorite songs about Texas, or even Dallas specifically?

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Johnny Winter – Dallas Forget what you think you know about Johnny Winter and listen to this. Fact is his first couple albums are some of the best raw and dirty Texas blues you are likely to find.

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Charlie Daniels Band – Trudy Forget what you think you know about Charlie Daniels too! His pre-Urban Cowboy stuff is some of the best damned Southern Rock you are likely to find. This song is about getting locked up in Dallas after a bad game of poker

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Ray Wylie Hubbard (with Jack Ingram) – Dallas After Midnight Even though Jack Ingram is now pseudo-pop country, at one time he was a “Texas Country” icon.  Here he is with Ray Wylie singing about some ill-conceived criminal activity late at night in Dallas

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The Flatlanders – Dallas (Live Version) of course I would choose this, it’s the quintessential song about Dallas. This is a live version that is absolutely smokin’….I mean man…best version of this song I’ve ever heard (watch video of it here)

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Jack Ingram (with Steve Earle) – Dallas this is Jacks version of the classic Flatlanders song above, with Steve Earle along for the ride. See I told you he was legit at one time

and finally:

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Waylon Jennings – People In Dallas Got Hair I don’t know what that is supposed to mean Waylon…but yes, I can confirm that people in Dallas do indeed have hair….except for that one guy walking his bull terrior down Harwood.

How to properly dance to Ray Wylie Hubbard

So I hope everyone caught Ray Wylie on Fallon last night (if not, WATCH ON HULU). Ray performed Drunken Poet’s Dream and did a hell of a job. Great to see him getting some major exposure because he definitely deserves it.  One thing I noticed is New Yorkers have no clue how to dance to Ray Wylie Hubbard. If you watch that Fallon clip they start off clapping awkwardly and continue some weird kind of sway half clap half lunge thing. I thought I would help these fine folks out if they ever find themselves at a Ray Wylie Hubbard performance with a video-graphic lesson on how to properly dance at a Ray Wylie show. The answer of course is: like little egypt

Check her out! She danced like that all night long. She also deep throated my buddy’s beer and pretty sure she was the reason the fight broke out. That or the d-bag who thought the show was an audition for Ray Wylie Hubbard’s harmonica player.

I took this short clip of a vid last year at The Shed in Maryville, TN.  Great great show, and unfortunately I missed his show there last Saturday.

Ray Wylie Hubbard on Jimmy Fallon tonight

"Heartaches and Grease"

Just want to let everyone know (if you don’t already) that the pride of Texas and smokey barrooms will be on the Jimmy Fallon show tonight. Further proving my belief that Fallon is the best late night show on TV.

Word is he will be playing Drunken Poet’s Dream. No word yet on whether the Roots join in.  If you happen to miss it, don’t worry because you can rewatch it on Hulu at your convenience after the show airs.

<—–Check that candid picture of Ray Wylie eating a BBQ sandwich I found on google images. No way that shirt stayed white through the entire sandwich….unless maybe Ray is as good at eating BBQ as he is at bottleneck slide.

Free Music Alert: Ray Wylie Hubbard edition

In case you missed the Comment from Ray’s wife Judy on the Stingaree post, she has put some rare treats from the Ray Wylie Hubbard vault up over at

It’s about 4 songs from the 70’s and 80’s and has included information. I’m dying to hear that punk version of Portales she is going to put up. Like her, I love that song! I also love the note at the top about hunting people down if they are selling the tracks!!

Enjoy, and thanks to Judy (and Ray) for the tracks!