Hank III – Straight To Hell

For those of you not in the know (and I know there’s one or two of you out there), Curb Records is a big, big player in the country music world. And they must’ve been ecstatic when they won the bidding war to get to add Hank Williams III to their roster. Unfortunately, after two albums of (just above) average ‘big hat’ fayre (with a slight edge), they kinda fell out. The label didn’t want Hank to get any more sweary or sing more about booze ‘n’ pills. Whereas, he’d been writing stuff like Put The Dick Into Dixie (And, The Cunt Into Cuntry). A bit of a tiff followed. In fact several years of one. So, while Curb sat back sure that the need to eat etc would mean that H3 would cave in, he went out and had the time of his life, forming Assjack, a phenomenal psychobilly trio, and generally being rock ‘n’ roll. (Assjack ‘bootlegs’ sell for ridiculous monies on eBay these days.)

And, so the label finally blinked and here is the third H3 ‘official’ album, resplendent with naughty words. In addition to the label baiting …Dixie (and the handful or other anti-pop-country rants) mentioned above we get a set of classic country themed tales of drink, the devil and heartbreak, often all three at once. In fact I’ve been kicking myself, since I first listened to this, over the track My Drinkin’ Problem (…left today. She packed up all her things and walked away…). Why the hell did I not think of that? Grrrr. Great song, too.

The band on here are great. Sitting somewhere between rockabilly and classic bluegrass. None too polished, and full of energy. OK, we’re not talking any hardcore authenticity, but this is rough and ready enough to carry itself with some attitude.

His grand-daddy would be proud, although his paw would disapprove – which is really how you want it.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

10 March 2006 at 2:36 pm

Posted in Records

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