AZTEC — The Historic Aztec Theater may more closely resemble the Grand Ole Opry with a hillbilly twist this weekend.

Lucky Tubb, the great-nephew of country music pioneer Ernest Tubb, will bring his brand of old school country honky-tonk music to Crash Music for a concert Saturday.

He'll perform with his "boys" — Anthony Ray on guitar and Brent Hazard on the upright bass — who make up his band, the Modern Day Troubadours. The name is a nod to his famous great-uncle, whose most popular band was the Texas Troubadours.

Ernest Tubb's popular 1941 hit, "Walking the Floor Over You," established him as the grandfather of the honky-tonk style of country music and led to a long career made popular by regular appearances at the Grand Ole Opry, in Nashville, Tenn.

Lucky Tubb plays in a concert in this undated publicity photo.
Lucky Tubb plays in a concert in this undated publicity photo. (Courtesy of Lucky Tubb and the Modern Day Troubadours)

Now, after recording five albums and sharing the stage with living legends Dwight Yoakam and Hank Williams III, Lucky Tubb has settled into the music he loves best, the honky-tonk sound his great uncle crafted.

He plans to record a live album later this spring. His latest album, "Del Gaucho," was recorded in Berlin, Germany, and in Austin, Texas.

"When my great uncle died, I came to understand the legacy he had left," said Lucky Tubb, in a phone interview Tuesday from his home in Austin. "My family name is not only an honor and privilege, it's a responsibility. But I caught the bug. I picked up the torch. People like Johnny Paycheck, Johnny Cash — they built it, real country music. You're hard pressed to live up to it, to carry on the tradition. You've gotta have it in you."

Lucky Tubb will perform some of his great uncle's songs at the Aztec concert, he said.

"I've got a real great band right now," he said. "Touring with Hank III and others has been incredible. We tour about 220 nights a year. That's what it takes to be a real honky-tonker. You have to come from a very hard place in your life and your soul, in dire pain, to make a good song come out that you wanted to write down."

Evoking the smoky honky-tonk clubs and dusty hardwood dance floors is part of that tradition. Lucky Tubb said he likes to sing songs that tell stories of real lives in moments of woe or wonder.

"Country music has a lot of sad songs — some nice ones, too," he said. "Anything from a nice walk on the river to not knowing your girlfriend left you, to knowing it for certain when you come home to an empty house four days before Thanksgiving. That's country music. It's a world full of stories of experiences where there's no other way to tell 'em."

Lucky Tubb said he looks forward to playing in Aztec, a town he hopes has country music in its heart.

"He's one of those quality performers who make you realize there's no better way to experience good music than on the dance floor at a live concert," said George Rowe, co-owner of Crash Music. "(Tubb) has the sound that goes back to the beginning. He transports you — all the hard times, the heartbreak — and you feel it, in a deep, deep way."

IF YOU GO

Where: Lucky Tubb and the Modern Day Troubadours

When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday

Where: Crash Music at the Historic Aztec Theater, 104 N. Main Ave.

Cost: $12. Kids 12 and under free

More info: Call Crash Music at 505-427-6748 or go to crashmusicaztec.com or luckytubbmusic.com.

James Fenton covers Aztec and Bloomfield for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621 and jfenton@daily-times.com. Follow him @fentondt on Twitter.