Ray Wylie Hubbard at the 2014 Nelsonville Music Festival

Ray Wylie Hubbard Tapped for 2015 Covered Bridge Music Series

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The Covered Bridge Music Series returns to Lancaster on May 23 with legendary singer/songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard, joined by fellow Texan John Evans.

Hubbard and Evans will perform behind Herrold Hall on the Ohio University Lancaster Campus lawn.

A leading figure of the progressive country movement of the 1970s, Hubbard remains best known for authoring the perennial anthem “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother.”

Born in Soper, Oklahoma in 1946, Hubbard and his family relocated to Dallas during the mid-’50s. There he learned to play guitar, eventually forming a folk group with fellow aspiring musician Michael Martin Murphey and striking up friendships with singer-songwriters Jerry Jeff Walker and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.

In 1973, Hubbard rekindled his friendship with Walker, who recorded Hubbard’s most famous composition, “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” on his acclaimed Viva Terlingua LP. The success of the album guaranteed Hubbard instant cult status within progressive country circles.

In 1978, he signed to Willie Nelson’s short-lived Lone Star imprint to record Off the Wall, which contained his own version of “Redneck Mother.”

Today Hubbard is considered an elder statesman of the Texas music scene. From New Braunfels, Texas, Hubbard hosts a Tuesday night radio show called Roots & Branches. His next album, The Ruffian’s Misfortune, is due out April 7.

Ray Wylie Hubbard

Opening the May 23 show will be Houston, Texas, native John Evans. Evans, a staple of the Texas music scene, rarely ventures outside of the state. Currently residing in Austin, Evans blends influences of rock and roll, punk, blues and country into a unique and enjoyable roots musical style.

He has earned many accolades, including being named Houston’s male Vocalist of the Year six times, Songwriter of the Year four times and Best Musician twice.

Evans has written and collaborated with other artists such as Roger Creager, Corb Lund and Hayes Carll, co-writing the title track of Carll’s 2011 album KMAG-YOYO. He also appeared with Carll’s band during a performance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

The Covered Bridge Music Series is a joint venture between Ohio University Lancaster Campus and The Lancaster Festival. The purpose of the partnership is to showcase fresh and relevant musical talent providing discovery and enjoyment for the campus and Fairfield County communities and the region. Concerts generally take place twice a year (spring and fall).

The partnership started in 2012. Four concerts have been performed on campus so far, all featuring up-and-coming talent. In November 2012, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit kicked off the series by playing in the Wagner Theatre with opening act, Amanda Shires.

Isbell and Shires appeared at OUL just before their respective new releases were hailed by music critics everywhere. Isbell’s Southeastern album was ranked #1 Best Album by NPR rock critic Ken Tucker and Shires’ Down Fell the Doves received positive reviews, with her song “Devastate” being listed in American Songwriter’s Top 50 songs of the year.

In May 2013, singer/songwriter Joe Pug performed at OUL. Pug, who played a set at last year’s Nelsonville Music Festival, is preparing to release his third studio album.

In September 2013, the series held its first outdoor concert as The David Mayfield Parade performed on the Herrold Hall Patio. Last year Elizabeth Cook, a veteran of the Grand Ole Opry and a Sirius XM radio host, thrilled the audience at the Wagner Theatre.

Tickets are on sale now on Ohio University Lancaster’s website. Doors will open at 7 p.m., with Evans performing at 8 p.m., followed by Hubbard at 9 p.m.

Athens’ Burrito Buggy food truck will be on site and beverages will be for sale. Profits from the beverage sales go to support the Covered Bridge Series.