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Hank Williams III - Straight to Hell (2006)

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People fear things they can't understand. Anything puzzling or out of the norm poses big problems for certain people, and the good old boy establishment that now rules Nashville with a pair of iron boots represent the epitome of "certain people". Hank Williams III represents just that sort of problem-causing enigma. With a family tree like that of Hank Williams III, expectations are bound to be in place for the kind of music one would be expected to make. Hank III has spent his young career spitting in the face of those expectations while at the same time upholding the legacy of his grandfather and the country outlaws that came after him. On his new 2 CD set, Straight to Hell, Hank III makes his stand firmly on the side of Waylon Jennings and David Allen Coe and makes it known that the pop-with-a-fiddle churned out by Nashville is not his country music and shouldn't be anyone's. With a sound that owes as much to rock and punk as traditional country, Hank III truly arrives with this album, having harnessed his own unique musical vision and freed himself of the reins holding him back on previous efforts.

If you listen to country radio nowadays, you will not hear songs with explicit sexual or drug-related references. You won't hear profanity or vocals with even the least bit of edge or world-weariness to them. If that doesn't sound very appealing, then Hank III is the country artist for you. Williams has gathered an interesting following over the years, an eclectic mix of curious punks and metalheads, country traditionalists, and whoever else happens to show up at his endless concert dates throughout the country. This record isn't so much an extension of Hank III's rock leanings, though. People anxious for an album reminiscent of his work with Phil Anselmo's Superjoint Ritual will be disappointed. This is straight ahead country music, and while the attitude may be informed somewhat by rock and roll and punk, the stand up bass and fiddles quickly dispel any notion that this is a rock record.

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Source: RocknWorld

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