Friday, June 26, 2015

Ray Wylie Hubbard at the Liberty Bell...

Ok. I know the Grateful Dead have a big show planned this summer and I am aware that in their absence from the touring scene some Phish fans have taken up the follow the band around from show to show thing.  Phish are just ok I guess and I got a bunch of Dead albums but for some reason that time I saw them at the old Astroworld amphitheater was a bad vibe and kind of queered (can we still say that?) Deadhead thing for me. Instead I follow Texas singer songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard around. 

Ray don't know that. And I am ok that he don't know it because it would seem a bit weird in a stalking kind of way on middle age man following another slightly older man around and watching all his shows. I really don't watch all Ray's shows but I do manage to catch him each time he puts out an album and he was in fine groove at the Liberty Bell in Nacogdoches Monday night. 

I became aware of this show while on our camping trip. One morning while having coffee I note the Liberty Bell posted the show and through the marvels of technology I immediately bought tickets. Must have been first because we had the best seats in the house. That's Ray's son Lucas on guitar, Kyle on drums and Ray. 

I took this gearhead picture of their pedal boards while I munched the stuffed snapper dinner. They also had a couple of cool old Fender amps, one mid 60s blackface and another early 60s brown. I think I had the beginnings of hearing loss back in the early 80s one time when Ray and the boys from Jerry Jeff's band, the Lost Gonzos, played Communication Breakdown at the old Cross Roads Club. It was the first time I remembered my ears ringing for more than one day after the show. 

You might not think poor people ought to have health care. You might think gay people should not get married. You don't have to think when it comes to the stone groove and cool gear Ray will show up playing. Ray is well known for an old song he wrote 40 years ago "Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother." He still has to play it every night but lately he says the E in redneck is for enough. His new stuff is deeper that than that old beer drinking song. 

As I say we had great seats but be aware this venue has a good bit of people noise and I think that's because it has a bit of a wine bar atmosphere. It does seem to surprise the performers I have seen there because it's small and I think they are expecting a respectful listening room type place. Those may be long gone. 

Ray was on Conan this week. I can't find a clip but this is what he sang:


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