- Dave Thomas American-Statesman staff
On the heels of his 2015 biography, “a life … well, lived,” Ray Wylie Hubbard is getting more literary attention.
Austin author Brian T. Atkinson has signed a contract with Texas A&M University Press for “The Messenger: The Songwriting Legacy of Ray Wylie Hubbard.”
The book is expected in fall 2019 and will be released alongside a musical tribute to the Wimberley-based singer-songwriter.
He was born in Oklahoma, but Hubbard gained attention during the 1970s Cosmic Cowboy scene in Texas, most notably when Jerry Jeff Walker including his song “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother” on his seminal 1973 album “Viva Terlingua!”
Hubbard has never really escaped the infamy of that song, but has tried like hell since sobering up in the late 1980s and focusing on uncompromising songwriting and musicianship.
The 70-year-old artist resists labeling with songs that could easily fit into a variety of categories, from country to rock and from folk to blues. Among his better-known cuts are “Snake Farm,” “The Messenger,” “Screw You, We’re From Texas” and the recent “Tell The Devil I’m Gettin’ There as Fast As I Can.”
Atkinson has previously written “I’ll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting of Townes Van Zandt” and “Kent Finlay, Dreamer: The Musical Legacy behind Cheatham Street Warehouse.”