ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As with a lot of musicians, Ray Wylie Hubbard sings most of the songs he himself writes. Like “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother.”
But sometimes Hubbard teams up with other songwriters.
This spring he’s planning to write songs with bluesman Charlie Musselwhite. Hubbard wrote a bunch of tunes with country singer Ronnie Dunn. The teamwork with Dunn occurred in 2012 after Dunn called Hubbard on the advice of a friend.
Hubbard, in a phone interview from his home in Wimberley, Texas, recalled how the conversation with Dunn opened:
“He said, ‘Hi, this is Ronnie Dunn.’ I said, ‘Who?'”
“He said, ‘Ronnie Dunn.’ I said, ‘Who?'”
Hubbard said he finally snapped that this was the Ronnie Dunn who was half of the former, but still famous, country duo of Brooks & Dunn.
“He’s a huge country star and he’s also a damn good songwriter,” Hubbard said of Dunn.
In fact, one of the songs Hubbard and Dunn wrote is “Bad on Fords and Chevrolets,” which Sammy Hagar has recorded.
“I’ll do it a lot different than Sammy Hagar,” Hubbard promised.
The song might be a cut on a CD that Hubbard is planning to record this spring.
And, he may be singing it in his Saturday, Jan. 25 set at the Red River Songwriters Festival or at his Sunday, Jan. 26 concert at St. Francis Auditorium in Santa Fe.
Hubbard will likely be performing a few of the cuts off of his most recent album “The Grifter’s Hymnal.” Most of them he composed by himself, but several are collaborations, such as “Moss and Flowers,” which he co-wrote with Charlie Shafter.
On his website, Hubbard shared what his own thoughts were going into the collaboration: “I was reading about how distraught (Lord) Byron was when (Percy) Shelley died, and I thought, ‘Can I put myself in that place of mind where I could write like a Romantic English poet?’ Or maybe write something like an Irish wake song.'”
For the concert, Hubbard said he’ll draw from his “pretty deep arsenal” of songs; he has 15 albums to his credit.