Blues Boy Hubbard
2019 Austin Blues Society Award Nominee - Lifetime Achievement
Born in La Grange, Texas in 1934, Henry “Blues Boy” Hubbard is one Austin’s most legendary living musicians. He arrived in the Texas capital in the 1950s, and while working as a mechanic at Bergstorm Air Force Base, he developed his band Blues Boy Hubbard & The Jets. in collaboration with local musicians – including L.P. Pearson and W.C. Clark, and black impresario Charlie Gilden (Charlie’s Playhouse; Chicken Shack), with whom he formed an enduring and productive partnership. Established as regular house musicians at Charlie’s Playhouse, Blues Boy Hubbard and The Jets decisively contributed with their music and entertainment to transform the state of race relations in (East) Austin within the 1960s African American Civil Rights Era.
While still unknown to many in the international blues scene – mainly due to his discreet recording career – "Blues Boy" Hubbard is a firmly established, regional live-music institution, as well as an influential mentor and unavoidable character within Austin’s particular history. His remarkable musical and social story sharply illuminates some of the ways in which the complex intermixes of popular music, race and economics have been articulated in contemporary history. Self-confident and outspoken, Hubbard continues to perform regularly as a member and periodical leader of the Texas Eastside Kings, who proudly continue to represent the “old-school”, electric, postwar blues.