Ray Wylie Hubbard

The Grifter's Hymnal (Bordello Records)

SXSW 2012 Records

Ray Wylie Hubbard

The Grifter's Hymnal (Bordello Records)

Ray Wylie Hubbard's got a bad case of Richard Thompson syndrome: uniformly excellent recordings that make the craft of songwriting appear so effortless as to fool the average poet-strummer into thinking that a conversation with a silver-tongued devil is all it takes. Hubbard knows that's not true, but he's willing to play along. At a time when Hubbard needs to prove nothing, The Grifter's Hymnal deals a wicked hand – an ace of spades on "Red Badge of Courage" and diamonds and hearts for "Lazarus," in which Hubbard concludes slyly, "At least we ain't Lazarus and had to think twice about dying." A Seventies outlaw with a ferocious Twitter feed (@raywylie), Wimberley's Hubbard keeps slamming the good stuff on "Coricidin Bottle" while recruiting Ringo Starr on "Coochy Coochy" and blowing 78704 a kiss on "South of the River." All that and "Mother Blues" is still the track, an autobiographical, tell-on-himself valentine to his now-wife ("that Mother Blues door girl"), a stripper ex-girlfriend, and a gold-top Les Paul now in the hands of his son. It's Ray Wylie Hubbard at his best, candid, shrugging, unapologetic, and dispensing rock & roll philosophy in words that matter: "And the days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days." (Wed., 12mid, the White Horse; Thu., 8:45pm, St. David's Bethell Hall; Fri., 10pm, Saxon Pub)


Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters/ for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

Thursday Interview
Thursday Interview

Nina Hernandez, March 20, 2015

Thursday Picks & Sleepers
Thursday Picks & Sleepers
SXSW Thursday handicapping by the blurb

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Saturday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Trampled by Turtles
Life Is Good on the Open Road (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 12, 2018

Texas Platters
Blues Grifter (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Sept. 28, 2018

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016


Ray Wylie Hubbard

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle