July 28, 2020

Outsiders Radio: Episode #65

AIR DATE: July 2020

SHOW THEME: Ray Wylie Hubbard


ERIC: Hey everybody, it’s Eric Church back for the sixty-fifth episode of “Outsiders Radio.”  Alright, who’s ready for more new music?  THIS one’s for the women.



That’s one of the songs that we wrote earlier this year in North Carolina, where we wrote a song a day.  There’s a line in the second verse that goes, “She taught me how to spell RESPECT.”  That line might trigger a memory…for SOME of you…of THIS great anthem.   SING it Reba!




Reba McEntire gettin’ us started on Outsiders Radio.  This week, we’re going to hear from my good friend Ray Wylie Hubbard.  As most of you know, he was my co-writer on the song Desperate Man, and also appeared in the video.  He lives in Texas, so I don’t see him much.  He was here in Nashville last fall to accept a writer’s award, and here he is with the rest of the story.


Ray- You wanna hear a funky story about how cool Eric is?  SESAC calls me up and says they wanna give me an award for my co-write with Eric on Desperate Man. So we went up there, big soiree, people duded up, so it comes time for me to do Desperate Man, and I finish, and the audience gasps and applauds, and I look over and Eric Church is standing at the other microphone. He gives me this incredible introduction, complete surprise, and that meant the world to me.



That was my first co-write with Texas legend Ray Wylie Hubbard, who we’re featuring this week.  Ever since that project, we’ve both been talking about a writing reunion. Here’s Ray.


Ray- We stayed in touch, we texted a few time, he told me congratulations on the new record, I’d hoped to write another song with him at some point, then this whole COVID thing happened, and I wasn’t gonna get on an airplane and fly to the Carolinas.


The new album Ray was talking about is called “Co-Starring,” and Ray says it’s kind of a CONCEPT album.


Ray- It is, it didn’t start out that way, I didn’t start out saying I’m gonna do a record with all these other musicians. It just fell into place. I opened some shows with Cadillac Three, and hit it off with those guys, and had this song called Fast Left Hand, and said, ‘Would you want to track this with me,’ and they said sure, so we went to Nashville and tracked it. So it just kind happened, each track, all of a sudden I had these tracks with great musicians, so I said what am I gonna do, I went well, I’ll put out an album, call it “co-starring,” cause each track I’m co-starring with that artist, so it just happened really.



That’s Ray Wylie Hubbard with the Cadillac Three and a song Ray wrote called “Fast Left Hand.”  That song is on Ray’s new album, ‘Co-Starring.’  One of the more interesting collaborations features Ringo Starr.


Ray- I had the fortune to go to Ringo Starr’s studio and be there when he did the drums on Bad Trick. I’ve known Ringo for 5-6 years.  About two years ago I was at his show, and he asked when I was doing. I told him I was doing an album with different people. He says ‘If you need a drummer, let me know.’ So I recorded a track and sent it to Ringo’s engineer.  All of a sudden I got a text that be in LA next Tuesday and I’ll play drums on it. So this was a year ago, and I was there when he played drums.  He asked who was going to play bass, and he said ‘How about Don Was?  Who’s playing guitar?  How ‘bout me brother in law?’ So because of Ringo I got Don Was and Joe Walsh.  I knew Chris Robinson, so I asked him, and like I say, it just kinda happened.



That’s Ray Wyllie Hubbard and an all-star band featuring Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, Don Was, and Chris Robinson from Ray’s new album Co-Starring.  If you see the video, Ray says it was done in Ringo’s studio.


Ray- That’s his studio at his house.  It’s in Beverly Hills, but it’s not a mansion. It’s just a little ranch house, and he has this studio and that’s where he tracks things with Joe Walsh or the All Starrs.  It’s quite a thrill, all the time, you’re talking to Ringo, he’s so gracious, but in the back of your head, you go, ‘That’s a Beatle.’  When they played the Ed Sullivan show, the United States changed, music changed, so it’s quite a thrill to have him on the record and also call him my friend.



The country side of The Beatles, doing a Buck Owens hit in the 60s.  I’m Eric Church, and we’re spotlighting Ray Wylie Hubbard’s new album ‘Co-Starring,’ that features a bunch of his friends.  One of them is a lady we’ve also sung with: Ashley McBryde.


Ray- I had this song called Outlaw Blood and I thought no other woman could sing on it besides Ashley, so she was very gracious, and she’s a hoot man, I love her to death. We met at Eric’s management company, I went to Eric’s office, Ashley came in and she lights up a room, so we wrote a song, and when Outlaw Blood came up, I asked her to sing on it. She’s wonderful.



That’s our featured artist Ray Wylie Hubbard along with Ashley McBryde on a song called “Outlaw Blood.”  Ray had some high praise for Ashley McBryde.


Ray- She has that Merle Haggard quality of poetry when she writes. She writes from a place a poet knows, and like I say I think she’s brilliant.



The current hit from my friend Ashley McBryde.  She’s also one of the guests on Ray Wylie Hubbard’s new album “Co-Starring.”  ANOTHER song on that album features Paula Nelson and Elizabeth Cook.


Ray- I actually wrote "I’m Gonna Drink Til I’m Seeing Double" with Ronnie Dunn,  it’s the first song I recorded in 20 years with steel guitar, I got Paula Nelson and Elizabeth Cook, cause not only are you gonna see double, you’re gonna hear double.  So it had to have two cool female voices on it.  I don’t know how that song happened, since I don’t drink anymore.  But I guess I can remember. It’s just a fun down home country song. I got the first line, ‘I can see you’re a woman of taste by your Reba McEntire tattoo,’ and when I sang that to Ronnie Dunn, he just fell apart. That’s the thing, I love putting humor in my songs, and that’s just a fun song.



We’ve been spotlighting the new album by Ray Wylie Hubbard called “Co-Starring.”  The album was released a couple weeks ago, right in the middle of this crazy pandemic.


Ray- It’s very strange, you put out a record during a pandemic, usually you put out a record and you work the record. You go to stores, you do gigs and that’s completely changed the whole game. I really miss performing. Performing’s still a joy for me.  My son plays guitar with me, we travel together. With all this turbulence, you have to strive to stay grateful. What gets me through this is to have an attitude of gratitude.



I want to thank my guest this week: Ray Wylie Hubbard. His new album is called “Co-Starring,” featuring a wide range of guests from Pam Tillis and Ashley McBryde to Joe Walsh and Ringo Starr.  It’s available now. 


A few more things I want to mention:  I’d like to congratulate Miranda Lambert on her latest #1 song: Bluebird.  It’s actually her first #1 in about 6 years, which is hard to believe.  She wrote the song with one of my regular collaborators: Luke Dick.


Miranda- Luke texted me one night and said ‘I read this poem that got to me, and we should write to it.’ I thought it was so right on the money. Writing with someone who’s so creative pulls you in different directions. But he played this cool groove, and I thought it was perfect for Bluebird.  I love singing it every night. It’s not like the lyrics are devastating, but the song makes you feel something that you didn’t know was in there.



Congrats to my friends Miranda Lambert & Luke Dick on having the #1 song this week with Bluebird.  I’d like to close by remembering someone we lost earlier this month: Charlie Daniels.  I performed at his Volunteer Jam five years ago.  It’s a benefit for his Journey Home Foundation that helps veterans who’re having trouble when they get back to civilian life.  I didn’t know Charlie well, but I knew he loved music, he loved his family, and he loved this country.  He wrote a song 40 years ago while the country was going through some hard times.  A bunch of Americans were being held hostage in Iran and the country was going through a big financial crisis.  There were protests and demonstrations taking place.  In some ways, there were parallels to where we are now.  As we listen to this song, maybe we can all gain some strength from the man we lost a few weeks ago: Charlie Daniels.  I’m Eric Church, see y’all next time on Outsiders Radio.