Jubal Lee Young

Jubal Lee Young

 Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA
BandCountryAmericana

Well-read, Southern American, folk, blues, outlaw country, singer-songwriter with a little edge and wit.

Biography

Here comes another badass sellin’ Nashville rock and roll, long hair, denim and tattoos, lookin’ on’ry and mean. Singin’ songs about that lonesome road, some of ‘em might even be true. But there ain’t no outlaws anymore…
-- Jubal Lee Young, “There Ain’t No Outlaws Anymore”

Almost as soon as it came in to the world in the early 1970s, Outlaw Country was loved to death. Literally. As an army of imitators embraced the gospel handed down by patriarchs and matriarchs like Waylon and Willie, Townes and Guy, Jessi and Emmylou, Billy Joe and Steves Young and Earle, the rough and tumble reaction against slick Nashville pop got co-opted.

It was always easier to snake the style than it was to distill the substance. Instead of working on living the sort of life that will gift you with songs like “Lonesome On’ry and Mean,” “Pancho and Lefty,” “Desperados Waitin’ for a Train,” and “My Old Friend the Blues,” the imitators took the same old Nashville dreck and decked it out in ever-more-ridiculous feathered hatbands, ludicrously ornate turquoise bracelets, and belt-buckles the size of hubcaps. Where once Outlaw Country was performed by true honky-tonk heroes, it wound up the preserve of 1,001 dimestore Comancheros. Music City soon enough got back to not doing things the way Hank had done ‘em, and smarmy order was restored.

And all these years later it still is so much easier to put on the hat than it is to steer the cattle on to fresh pastures. Even today, faux-outlaw country is as easy to come by as political hot air on Sunday morning TV.

With Take It Home Jubal Lee Young wants to show the posers how it’s done. “This is the record I really wanted to make,” he says, speaking from the road somewhere between Dallas and his home base of Muskogee, Oklahoma. “I just wanted to balance real outlaw country without all this ‘I’m a badass’ crap.”

Nowhere is that manifesto made clearer than on album closer “There Ain’t No Outlaws Anymore,” a direct slam at Nashville badasses and their carefully-crafted images. “You can just get so tired of the hyperbolic horseshit that Music Row cranks out about these assholes sometimes,” Young says. “I think this is the idea behind this one. That if a major label today is marketing someone as outlaw, you can pretty much guarantee they ain’t.”

“There Ain’t No Outlaws” also shows another aspect of Young’s life: as the son of trailblazing songwriters / performers Steve Young (“Seven Bridges Road,” “Lonesome On’ry and Mean”) and Terrye Newkirk (“My Oklahoma,” “Come Home, Daddy”) he grew up not only in the very creative nexus of the Outlaw movement, but also in a larger environment -- the mid-South in the 1970s and ‘80s -- where Southern rock held sway. Young refuses to back away from a Skynyrd comparison, and the deliciously long and lazy outro to “Stark Raving Mad” strays off into the sort of woozy-yet-celestial Dixie rock both Ronnie Van Zant and Duane Allman would smile down on.

“I suggested we cut it like some deep south dive bar band, which producer Thomm Jutz distilled down to a Lynyrd Skynyrd sort of effect,” Young says. “I certainly grew up steeped in outlaw country, but you cannot deny the Southern Rock influence, as well.”

Young’s humor also shines through on “Have You Met Me?”, a Yoakumesque honky-tonk romp through a series of inside jokes, catchphrases and aphorisms dredged up out of several memorable weekends of partying on Lake Conroe just north of Houston.

The Bayou City is also the star of “Neon River,” one of Take It Home’s standout tracks and a clear indication of just how steeped Jubal Lee Young is in the genuine Outlaw Country article.

Young’s backing is provided by Outlaw sidemen like Mac Gayden, Mickey Raphael and Robby Turner, and they serve up frequent little nods to the past, like the hat-tip to “Lonesome On’ry and Mean” on “There Ain’t No Outlaws Anymore” and another to Waylon’s “Amanda” on “Angel With a Broken Heart.”

And then there’s Young’s own twi

Lyrics

Uh, Let's Go!

Written By: Jubal Lee Young

Uh Let’s Go!
Jubal Lee Young
© 2007, Tellico Music (BMI)

I feel like I own this place tonight
Does anybody in here wanna start a fight?
Uh let’s go!
Come on, man, let’s go!

I’m feelin’ like a little animal romance
Any of you fine ladies in here wanna dance?
Uh let’s go!
Come on, baby, let’s go!

Let’s go, baby!
Come on!

I think I could drink just a little bit more
Anyone in here wanna ride to the store?
Uh let’s go!
C’mon, I’m drivin’! Let’s go!

Maybe a better plan would have been walkin’
It’s the cops! Don’t say nothin’, I’ll do all the talkin’
Uh let’s go!
Uh-oh, the police say “Let’s go!”

To the can, man!
Downtown!

I feel like I own this place tonight
Does anybody in here wanna start a fight?
Uh let’s go!
Come on, man, let’s go!

I’m feelin’ like a little animal romance
Any of you fine ladies in here wanna dance?
Uh let’s go!
Come on, baby, let’s go!

On the floor!
Shake it!

The Last Free Place In America

Written By: Jubal Lee Young

The Last Free Place in America
Written by Jubal Lee Young
©2009, Tellico Music (BMI)

If you want to write me a letter, friend
Send it in care of the looney bin
I think I finally found myself a home
This is the last free place in America

It’s you I’m worried for out there, my friend
Where true freedom usually meets a grisly end
And though I ain’t got too much room to roam
This is the last free place in America

I can think what I want
I can say anything
And they just look and say, “Ah, he’s crazy!”
Out there, you cross the line
And they’ll get you every time
One way or another, I don’t mean maybe
See? This is the last free place in America

You can visit me every Saturday
But if you come too much, you’ll probably want to stay
But there’s much worse places a fellow could end up
Than in the last free place in America

I can think what I want
I can say anything
And they just look and say, “Ah, he’s crazy!”
Out there, you cross the line
They’ll get you every time
One way or another, I don’t mean maybe
See? This is the last free place in America

So if you want to write me a letter, friend
Send it in care of the looney bin
I think I finally found myself a home
This is the last free place in America
This is the last free place in America
I'm in the last free place in America

Falling For You

Written By: Jubal Lee Young

Falling For You
Written by Jubal Lee Young
© 2000, Tellico Music (BMI)

Maybe the moonlight just makes me crazy
Maybe the whole thing, confuses me… maybe
Maybe it’s better if I just walk away
And wonder about it the rest of my days

But I know it’s too late
When I see that I hurt when you do
Baby, I do
You can’t help who you fall for
And I’m helplessly falling for you

Maybe you’ll run like a lost little girl
So afraid I might turn on you like this big bad world
Or maybe you’ll hold me and beg me to stay
I swear I won’t leave you darlin, if you won’t run away

And I know it’s too late
When I see that I hurt when you do
Baby, I do
You can’t help who you fall for
And I’m helplessly falling for you

I know it’s too late
When I see that I hurt when you do
Baby, I do
You can’t help who you fall for
And I’m helplessly falling for you

Neon River

Written By: Jubal Lee Young

Neon River
(Jubal Lee Young)
©2009, Tellico Music (BMI)

Good news from Houston, all of my friends are fine
Roaming the south side and generally having good times
45 looks like a river of lights through my window
500 miles and I’m almost Under the Volcano

Houston Town, God knows I love you
Take me down through the stars above you
Neon river carry me into the night

I once spent some time there with a fallen angel from Conroe
She tried to rip out my heart but little did she know
I’d already given up that part of me to the city
She left empty handed but walked away looking so pretty

Houston Town, God knows I love you
Take me down through the stars above you
Neon river carry me into the night

Set my feet on Alabama Street
And set free this Tennessee refugee
One of these days I’ll be back here to stay

Houston Town, God knows I love you
Take me down through the stars above you
Neon river carry me into the night

Houston Town, God knows I love you
Take me down through the stars above you
Neon river carry me into the night
Neon river carry me into the night

Discography

"Not Another Beautiful Day" - 2006
"Jubal Lee Young" - 2007
"The Last Free Place In America" - 2009
"Take It Home" - 2011