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Hayes Carll: Kris Kristofferson is “on my Mount Rushmore”

Hayes Carll, Steve Earle, Ray Wiley Hubbard and Billy Joe Shaver are among the country singers who spoke Kris Kristofferson’s praises as the songwriter was inducted in to the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame.

Willie Nelson, always the odd man out, decided to sing Kristofferson’s praises, as you’ll see in a moment.

Kristofferson, Earle said, wrote country songs “at a level of literature. Kris was the first guy who thought like that.”

Earle spoke in a video (above) that will be played New Year’s Eve when ACL airs its induction ceremony on PBS stations. Among the guests are fellow inductee Bonnie Raitt, plus Taj Mahal, Billy Gibbons, Gary Clark Jr., Nelson and others, all of whom came together to honor Raitt, Kristofferson and B.B. King, who was inducted posthumously.

Hubbard said he was devastated when he first heard “Me and Bobby McGee” and has been a fan ever since.

“You hear it and you pick your jaw up off the floor,” he said.

Nelson apparently agreed with Hubbard’s assessment, as he serenaded his former Highwaymen bandmate with his own, raggedly, half-spoken rendition of the track on which he was joined by harmonica player Mickey Raphael and Kristofferson himself, on second guitar. But it’s Nelson’s off-kilter vocal style and even more off-kilter playing on the nylon-stringed Trigger that make this version - see link below - unique.

Kristofferson may have created the song. But Nelson owns it.

Kristofferson “made my life go zing!,” said Shaver. “He was the champ. And he still is, as far as I’m concerned.”

Carll quoted “The Pilgrim - Chapter 33″ in expressing his awe of Kristofferson.

“’See him wasted on the sidewalk in his jacket and his jeans wearing yesterday’s misfortune like a smile,’” he said. “I thought, ‘This is my guy.’”

“Kris is on my Mount Rushmore,” Carll added. “He’s essential to music. He’s essential to songwriters. … And I think he’s essential to any hall of fame.”

See Willie Do “Bobby McGee” Here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_0riXnsRWo0#action=share

12/29/16

Ray Wylie Hubbard — The Ruffian's Misfortune (Bordello)

He’s been mixing country, folk, and blues for decades now, but Ray Wylie Hubbard’s still refining his sound. The Grifter’s Hymnal from 2012 marked a high point, a spiritual brew never diluted by the religious (but salted with the funny), and it makes sense for Hubbard to continue that work. On The Ruffian’s Misfortune, Hubbard fits his sharp lyrics around steady grooves, sometimes moving into a boogie-style or even something closer to hill country blues at times. 

Whatever traditions he pulls from, though, Hubbard remains a country singer with a rock ‘n’ roll heart. It’s not exactly country-rock (a term that too easily slides into all sorts of sounds and subgenres and things too lighthearted to feel either country or rock). It’s country – that’s why talk about cars is allowed – but it’s gotten the aggression of rock, and Hubbard’s unforgiving in expressing either part of that vision.

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