Nearly two years ago in the March of 2020 when our entire worlds were being turned upside down by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and things we though we would never see were transpiring right before our very eyes, one of the very weirdest moments of them all was the announcement right in the thick of it that Ray Wylie Hubbard has signed to Nashville major label Big Machine Records—home of Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line.
However the circumstances aligned, it has resulted in a resurgence of sorts in the 75-year-old’s career, if for no other reason than he finally was allowed to grace the stage of Austin City Limits. On Big Machine, Hubbard released an album called Co-Starring, which illustrated the friends he had, and the influence he had sown throughout music from the collaborators he was able to call upon. It also happened to be a really damn good record, and not too busy as the track list might have implied.
Well if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it. And with the extended Rolodex of influences and acolytes Ray Wylie Hubbard has assembled, why not release a sequel? That’s what Ray Wylie will do on March 18th, 2022 with another list of excellent collaborators.
Getting Willie Nelson to join him one of the greatest songs Ray’s ever written in “Stone Blind Horses”? Conjoining three of the greatest living Texas songwriters of our time on one song in Hayes Carll, James McMurtry, Dalton Domino? Or three of the biggest Texas country superstars in Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, and Cody Canada? It’s the honor and influence Ray Wylie Hubbard boasts that he’s able to call together such talent to the studio.
Over the last couple of weeks, Ray Wylie has been inventively dropping little Easter eggs about who his co-stars would be on part deux (worth peeping his social media just to see them), but now he’s revealed the full track list, as well as the first song of the album called “Hellbent For Leather” with the rough and tumble Steve Earle.
Other collaborators include Ann Wilson of Heart, Eliza Gilkyson who just released an album herself, Country Hall of Famer Wynonna Judd, rocker Lizzy Hale, Kevin Russell and the Shiny Soul Sisters of Shinyribs, and Ringo Starr.
Known for years as the “Forgotten Outlaw” for coming up in the Texas scene when Willie, Waylon, and the Armadillo World Headquarters reigned, and later renamed the Wylie Llama from his influence and wisdom imparted to the next generation of artists, Ray Wylie Hubbard is one of the most widely-respected artist by fellow artists across the country, rock, and blues worlds.
Co-Starring Too is now available for pre-order.
- Stone Blind Horses (ft. Willie Nelson)
- Groove (ft. Kevin Russell and the Shiny Soul Sisters)
- Only a Fool (ft. The Bluebonnets)
- Hellbent for Leather (ft. Steve Earle)
- Naturally Wild (ft. Lzzy Hale and John 5)
- Fancy Boys (ft. Hayes Carll, James McMurtry, Dalton Domino)
- Texas Wild Side (ft. The Last Bandoleros)
- Till My Wheels Fall Off (ft. Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, Cody Canada)
- Pretty Reckless (ft. Wynonna Judd, Jaimee Harris, Charlie Sexton, and Gurf Morlix)
- Ride or Die (ft. Ringo Starr, Lucas Hubbard, Steve Lukather, Eliza Gilkyson, Ann Wilson)
- Desperate Man (ft. Band of Heathens)