My favorite redneck, Hank Williams III, has a new disc ready to drop. It's titled Damn Right Rebel Proud and if it's half as good as his previous release, Straight to Hell, it'll likely prove to be the most interesting country album of the year. It's scheduled to come out Oct. 21. The first single is the trucker tune "Long Hauls & Close Calls." A video has been shot. So, y'know, if you're a fan, start looking for it on YouTube.
I had the pleasure of hanging with Hank III after a State Theatre gig in 2001. Let's just put it this way, the hard-living honky tonk punk lived up to his reputation.
I interviewed Hank III in 2006 for the McClatchy wires, which means I was writing for "family newspapers," which means most of the good stuff was not fit for print. Here's a snippet that ran in the Denver Post:
Although Hank III has a genuine affection for classic country music, he never abandoned his first love, heavy metal.
He opens his show with material from his three country albums. The band takes an intermission and then returns as Ass Jack, a speed-country-metal band influenced by acts like the Melvins. Hank III's been struggling to record that incarnation of his band for five years.
"I think its finally gonna happen," he said. Hank III was at the end of a nine-day tour break when he answered his cellphone on his way to the Nashville airport.
"It usually takes a month to fully recuperate, to shake off the dizziness, I'm still a little zombified," he said. "But it's the 'Straight to Hell tour,' we started June, 6, 2006, it's the 666 year, this one is gonna burn."
Then he cut loose with a wicked laugh.