All These Years

Early success was almost the end of Ray Wylie Hubbard

Which works well for the current album, a blues-informed journey through Texas storyscapes that many critics say is his best yet. It's a fun record, but not without its darker elements, including the aforementioned "Didn't Have a Prayer." On the flip side, the historical "Joyride" name-checks the Continental Club in Austin and Doug Sahm, and it's a killer snapshot of a time in Texas music history we'll never see again. Meanwhile, the cheery, old-timey "Black Dog" would be right at home on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.

This is a piece of work created by a man whose writing talents were as wasted in the hard-drinking honky-tonk world as Hubbard once liked to get in the honky-tonks themselves. His story is one of artistic drive trumping self-destruction. "Real writers write because they have to," he says. "Otherwise, we have no joy." Luckily for us, Hubbard shares the fruit of that joy, which was buried so long.

“I didn’t want to be Townes Van Zandt or Guy Clark, but I wanted to play in front of their audience,” Ray Wylie Hubbard says.
Maria Camillo
“I didn’t want to be Townes Van Zandt or Guy Clark, but I wanted to play in front of their audience,” Ray Wylie Hubbard says.

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