Jubal Lee Young
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Jubal Lee Young

Muskogee, Oklahoma, United States | INDIE

Muskogee, Oklahoma, United States | INDIE
Band Country Americana


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""Jubal Lee Young" Review"

Jubal Lee Young, Jubal Lee Young
Young Mr. Young harkens back to his father’s out-of-print twang-filled early ‘70s material that set a high bar for the emerging Outlaws. With Thomm Jutz producing and playing most of the guitars, there is a charming sparseness to the electricity that pays homage to father Steve Young’s early work as well as that of other artists of the era.

Tracks like “The Window Song” and “Greed is the Creed” have Dylan influences embedded throughout, while “Streets of Caen” and “She Don’t Like Clowns” have all of father Steve’s common folks mysticism and born-on-the-road gravitas.

Whether he’s all mixed up in “I Don’t Know What I Want” or taking surly swipes at Bush and Cheney in “Peanut Butter and Daisy Cutters,” like his father Jubal Lee lays on huge servings of humanity, decency and dark-of-night emotion. This is one of the most overlooked Americana records out there right now.

-- William Michael Smith

- Houston Press


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



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