I recently had the privilege of seeing Ray Wylie Hubbard live for the first time in about 5 years. The venue was Shady Grove on Barton Springs Road. Their free Thursday night Unplugged series is an underrated destination for summer evenings. A friend and I brought our lawn chairs and enjoyed the Ziegenbock drafts they had on special.
Ray took acoustic and harmonica duties, backed by his son Lucas on electric guitar and Rick Richards on drums. They came out strong by running through “Rabbit,” “Snake Farm,” and “Drunken Poet’s Dream.” Later, they had the mostly older crowd on its feet, shouting the words to “Screw You, We’re from Texas.” There was even some two-stepping to the classic hit “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother.” The band closed with quick and dirty versions of “Choctaw Bingo” and “Snake Farm” — again!
For those unfamiliar with Ray Wylie Hubbard, he’s an outlaw country legend with a bit of a hippie streak in him. His musical style is gritty, groovy, folksy, and country all at once, and his witty stage banter is second to none (although some hasn’t changed in 5 years). Hubbard’s years of experience and brilliant songwriting have even earned him the nickname of Wylie Lama. He very much embodies what makes Austin the live music capital of the world.
Ray was kind enough to take a picture with us after the show and talk about some of his favorite places to play in Texas. At 67, there’s no telling how much longer he plans on touring, so catch him live while you have the chance. You won’t regret it.
Rating: 4.5 / 5