Texas Country singer and songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard [RiYL 57]

"I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting myself into when I walked backstage to meet Hubbard, the 67-year-old outlaw country survivor," says Brian Heater. "An elder statesman of the same scene that produced the likes of Waylon Jennings and Townes Van Zandt -- he one of the few who’d lived to tell the tales."

What I found was a man who was more than willing to relate some of those gems, many still fresh in his mind as he puts the finishing touches on an autobiography due out next year. After our interview, Hubbard and I grabbed some coffee across the street. He asked me what new bands I’m listening to, and I rattled off a couple -- for whatever reason, it’s always a tough question to answer on the spot. Hubbard already had his answer locked and loaded: The Bright Light Social Hour. He told me to go on YouTube and check out the song “Detroit,” the same instructions he gave the audience at City Winery when he took the stage 90 minutes later.

The man who, most famously, penned “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother” has always been a storyteller, a trait he’s been putting to good use as of late, creating some of the best music of his long career over the past two decades. And thankfully, the way he tells it, he won’t be slowing down any time in the near future.

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Published 7:19 pm Sun, Jun 15, 2014

About the Author

Brian Heater (@bheater ) is a senior editor at Engadget and the founder of indie comics site, The Daily Cross Hatch. His writing has appeared in Spin, The Onion, Entertainment Weekly and The New York Press. He hosts several podcasts and shares an apartment in Queens with a rabbit named Sylvia.

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