Ray Wylie Hubbard’s Austin City Limits Debut to Stream Online

photo: Brad Coolidge

Ray Wylie Hubbard has waited 45 years to finally make his debut on the Austin City Limits stage. And though COVID-19 restrictions mean there will be no audience in attendance for this monumental event that Ray Wylie and his fans have been lobbying for, the taping of the episode will stream live online.

Fans can watch on Wednesday, October 21st at 7:00 p.m. Central via the Austin City Limits YouTube channel, or right here via the embedded player below as Hubbard takes the ACL stage with his son Lucas, touring drummer Kyle Schneider, fellow Austin legend and producer Gurf Morlix on bass, and Bukka Allen on keyboards. Not all Austin City Limits tapings are streamed, so this is a rare opportunity, and your only opportunity to see the entire set as opposed to what is pared down for broadcast when the ACL episode proper comes out.

Hubbard did appear briefly on the show before when he took the stage with fellow Austin songwriter Hayes Carll to perform the song they wrote together, “Drunken Poet’s Dream.” However, Ray Wylie had been curiously overlooked by ACL over the years, never appearing on his own episode while artists well outside the Austin music sphere who already enjoyed wide popularity were brought in.

“I actually haven’t heard the hoofbeats of the four horseman of the apocalypse approaching so before they saddle up, I’d like to thank each of you who wrote ‘Austin City Limits’ on my behalf,” Hubbard said in his usually wry, self-deprecating manner. “Just when I was approaching the time to be put out to pasture, this happens and I decide to hitch my self back up to the parade wagon for a promenade under the television lights of a show I have watched for around 45 years but never appeared on it.

At 73, Hubbard is enjoying a resurgence in his career. He recently signed to Big Machine Records, and released a new album called Co-Starring, which sees appearances by Ringo Star, Joe Walsh, Pam Tillis, Ashley McBryde, Ronnie Dunn, and many more. Eric Church (who has played ACL before), has also been a big proponent of Hubbard over the last few years, name dropping him in a song, and co-writing his hit “Desperate Man” with Ray.

Once the episode streams live, it won’t be available afterwards, and it may be months before Ray Wylie Hubbard’s segment is debuted on PBS. So make sure you tune in. Consider it alternative programming to the CMT Awards broadcasting at the same time.

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