Ray Wylie Hubbard on “Whiskey River,” Strong Weed, and Willie Nelson’s Smile (“One By Willie)

photo: Ha Lamb

by: John Spong

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As the man who wrote “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” Ray Wylie Hubbard—one of the founding fathers of Americana music—knows a little bit about anthems. On this episode of One by Willie, Hubbard focuses on a Willie song that rose to that lofty status long ago, Nelson’s erstwhile show opener “Whiskey River.” It’s one of those songs that even casual fans recognize the instant they hear its opening  guitar lick, and Hubbard describes how Willie took it from the original, hard-core country shuffle released in 1972 by its composer, Johnny Bush; filtered it through what Hubbard calls Willie’s “jazz, jam-band mind”; and turned it into what many consider the national anthem of Texas.

Read entire article and listen here.

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