Ray Wylie Hubbard on Late Show with David Letterman (VIDEO)

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Todd Wolfson
Ray Wylie Hubbard is a storyteller without equal, who inspired a flock of country and blues poets. The Dallas native made a stop this week on Letterman, in promotion of last year's The Grifter's Hymnal. He and his excellent band played a track from that album, "Mother Blues," which remembers the nighclub of the same name. Watch the clip below.

It's an exquisite yarn, one that rings true to this very recent transplant. Hubbard tells it best, but in case you got caught up in the melody and missed the words, here they are:

When I was a young man About 21 years old y'all All I wanted was a stripper girlfriend And a Gold Top Les Paul Be careful of the things you wish for You might get 'em

There was a night club in Dallas
Called Mother Blues
It's where Lightning Hopkins played
And Freddy King even payed some dues

All the dealers and gamblers
And young white hipsters, they all made the scene
The girl at the door who checked ID's
Was just 16

Aw, it was not a place for law biding citizens
Jackie Jones he had 'em a habit, he just couldn't stop
Aaid give me 500 dollars
And I'll sell you my Les Paul God Top

I drove my daddy's car down to Ross Avenue
And I sold it
I guess I should have told him
He eluded to the police someone stole it

It was just the first of many bad decisions
I was to make for the next 20 years
Oh, but I had me a guitar

Everybody knows
That the real nightlife
Begins after the clubs close
What they call after hours

It's 2 a.m. and everybody's gone
But the band, the dealers and Jack Jones
And then the girls from the landing strip club come over
After they put their clothes back on

So I'm at Ma Blues and I'm sitting on an amp
I'm playing "Twist and Shout"
And this tall drink of water walks in
Like she might have to shoot her way out

She come up to me and she said
"You know anything good on that guitar?"
I didn't say nothing, I just kept on playing
She said, "Have you ever heard this song
Called Polk Salad Annie?" I just kept playing

She said, "Every time I hear that song
My insides feel like warm butter
And I just wanna take off my clothes
And dance around in my underwear"

I said, "Down in Louisiana
Where the alligator grow so mean"
That's all I knew of it and it was enough

So we hit it off, me and this dancer
We hit it off like a metaphor
Like a metaphor for a hydrogen bomb
We was enriched uranium, super critical mass
We was a chain reaction, it was love and lust
Aw, mostly lust but a mutual attraction

So there I was boys at 21 years old, I had it all
I had a fine stripper girlfriend and a Gold Top Les Paul
Aw, the future, it looked promising
Oh but there were dark clouds on the horizon

She was a beautiful girl
But she liked to drink Tequila and that ain't all
I come home 4 or 5 times
And she pawned my Les Paul

We broke up and she went to Hollywood
She married an actor

She got a job dancing on the Hudson Brothers TV show
And modern lipstick from Max Factor
I got over her, I'm glad she done alright
I'm glad she done alright, oh yes, I am

Well now me, I never busted through the gates
Into the big time as a rock and roll star
For 40 years I just carried around an old Gold Top guitar

But love and fate are mysterious things
In this funky old world
It was 20 years ago I ended up marrying
That Mother Blues door girl

We had us a boy, he's 18 years old now, he's playing guitar
He ended up with that Les Paul Gold Top, yes, he did
Now I don't know if he's gonna hang his life on it or not
But I'm very grateful for the time I get to share the stage with him

I'm grateful for the time I get to play with musicians
Like George Reiff and Rick Richards
I'm grateful that I get to write these old songs
And travel around the world and play them for people

And they come out and hear me play
And the days that I keep my gratitude
Higher than my expectations
Well, I have really good days

You can catch the man in his hometown on February 15 at the Kessler Theater.

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Location Info

Map

The Kessler Theater

1230 W. Davis St., Dallas, TX

Category: Music


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