Album of the day: Hank III – Hillbilly Joker

Here’s a gem released earlier this year that we neglected to share with our beloved Roadburn readers. Please excuse the oversight! Blame it on festival fever… Lovingly pinched from Nashville Country Music | Curb Records finally released the long awaited Hank III album, Hillbilly Joker. The album was submitted to Curb, by Williams, under the title This Ain’t Country. Williams submitted the work, in the early 2000’s; however, Curb refused to release the album, which touched off a series of court battles, between Mike Curb and Shelton “Hank” Williams, and also began a campaign of discontented rebellion, by Williams against Curb that culminated with him leaving the label, on January 1, 2011.

Curb refused to release the album and refused to allow Williams to release it, on his own or with another label, and shelved the material intending it to only be heard when they were ready to release it, if ever. Williams’ fans know that the entire album has been available, on bootleg underground recordings, for years. The original title is far less misleading than Curb’s official title, because this music sure ain’t country.

The first song, on the album, is also the title track, ‘Hillbilly Joker’, and is a cow-punk instant classic. The song is an unapologetic anthem for the country inspired rock that Hank III loves so much. Part punk and part country, with a whole lot of attitude, ‘Hillbilly Joker’ makes you want to jump in a dusty old Cadillac, with a trashy looking woman, and go crazy, on the wrong side of town.

The metal inspired song, ‘I’m Drunk Again’ tells the story of a man whose wife has committed suicide and he is coping with the loss by drinking himself numb. The song has Williams’ voice distorted like the guitars and reveals the hardcore screaming Williams has become known for, during parts of his live show. Finally, ‘Drink It, Drug It’, is a punk rock charged song about life, as a musician, on the road.

Continue reading: Album review of Hank III: Hillbilly Joker – Nashville Country Music |

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 10th, 2011 at 3:26 am and is filed under 2011, Album of the Day, Roadburn Recommended . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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