A Drunken Poet's Dream
A Life ... Well, Lived
A redneck mother's recollections – those that remain
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Dec. 11, 2015
Ray Wylie's Hubbard's self-published autobiography reads like a "drunken poet's dream," a morning-after piecing together of what happened. "It's pretty much a fog and ragged memories that don't make a lot of sense," writes Hubbard. Accordingly, short chapters of memoirs are interspersed with song lyrics and stream-of-consciousness vignettes that read like at-hand anecdotes from the Oklahoma-born songwriter's hard-run life, all capped with an afterword by his wife/manager Judy that questions many of the preceding details. This is life impressionistically, according to the author, so his songs "Redneck Mother" and "Mother Blues," among others, tell the story as much as A Life ... Well, Lived. The true core comes from Hubbard's rise to sobriety – gaining control of his life and career at age 40 – and the second half of the book comes across poignantly redemptive. That's where Hubbard's deep mind and self-reflection inform his direct yet poetic prose. Captivating, hilarious, honest, and enlightening, this is Ray Wylie Hubbard truly unplugged.
A Life ... Well, Livedby Ray Wylie Hubbard with Thom Jurek
Bordello Records, 174 pp., $20 (paper)