The Ruffian’s Misfortune

Ray Willie Hubbard

Bordello Records 2015

Review by David Bowling


It takes a tough man to write a song titled “Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother” and name his label “Bordello Records,” but so it is with Texan Ray Wylie Hubbard.

Hubbard has lived a chameleons life; at least in his music career, which is now past the forty year mark. He has been a southwest folkie, a progressive country artist, a honky tonk howler, and now a roots driven blues artist.

His newest album, The Ruffian’s Misfortune, finds him continuing to explore his own brand of hybrid Texas blues.

The songs are precise and energetic. The ten original tracks clock in at 34 minutes but he packs a lot of wallop into such a short period of time. The music is a fusion of rock and blues but the lyrics are personal as they explore sin, bad luck, and some heavy drinking. “Chick Singer, Badass Rockin'” is a hard rocking tune with well-defined characters. “Hey Mama, My Time Ain’t Long” travels in a more philosophical direction as it is a story of aging and mortality.

Now nearing 70 years old, The Ruffian’s Misfortune continues to build on the momentum of 2012’s The Grifter’s Hymnal. It is honest, straight forward, and rocks, which is always a good combination.

Rating: ***1/2