I have a soft spot for Ray Wylie Hubbard. As often as he scares me – which let’s face it, is his specialty. There is not much use in being an outlaw country singer if ya don’t scare the horses and wimmin now and again.
I’ll admit it, somewhere deep deep inside there is a redneck trying to get out beneath this accent and my liking of fancy tea with no sugar in it. I blame the drugs. I used to be a refined creature, but after a while this country gets deep into a soul. There is something honest about the kind of people that Ray Wylie Hubbard sings about in this song. What ya see is what ya get. There are no airs and graces, no nose in the air. OK, so there might well be an element of inflexibility and insularism at the very least, but the good hard honest sweatin’, meth cookin’, second cousin fuckin’, Gun shootin’, moonshine distillin’, choctaw bingo playin’ ways of vast swathes of this country and it’s rebel heart has a certain draw and charm, even if it constantly asks where my accent is from, and insists on calling me “Miss Detroit”, and looks at me funny when I decline to eat the road kill deer they just hauled in.
Now, I am not saying I have a bit of a thing for rough and ready….but I get left cold by the ‘naice’ the stuck up, the grandiose, the airs and graces, the tiny little tasters. If I am not going to go completely insane I need to drag my ass back into the world, where “ill get myself a tattoo and one for you too” is romantic talk, and my potty mouth fits right in. I want to live back in a world where ‘country music died the day Johnny Cash stopped doing pills’ as Ray put it. I need to be me, or else I’m going to go under and not surface for air.
To thine own self be true, remains a truism, and might be the only medicine which will ever heal any of us, me included….