Fortune would find that on my way down to Mexico, I was in Austin, TX the same day that Ray Wylie Hubbard’s new CD A: Enlightenment B: Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C), was being released, and he was making a short, low-fi appearance at the famed Waterloo Records. So I grabbed savingcountrymusic.com’s most latest acquisition, a handheld HD-capable camcorder, and headed on down.
When I wrote my review of Enlightenment, I proclaimed that the aging Ray Wylie still had lots left in the tank, and that his new CD was one of the best I’ve heard in a while. Even after seeing him with a stripped-down band on an awkward record store stage playing a short set, and wearing a ridiculous head warmer-like thing on his head that made him look like a resurrected zombie who’d stumbled into a Richard Simmons video, my positive feelings about his music were steadfast. Hubbard hasn’t lost a step, and might be writing the best songs on his career.
He used to be known as the “Forgotten Outlaw,” but now he’s morphed more into the frank-speaking blues player, with a hint of country. I asked him about his old “forgotten” handle after the performance, and he seemed a little surprised to hear it mentioned, especially from someone without gray hairs. Weather it’s because Ray Wylie is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, or because he’s ditched the bluegrass fiddle for the bottleneck slide, little about Ray Wylie seems “forgotten” or “Outlaw.” But he was still damn good.