Lovesick, Broke & Driftin'by Hank Williams III
A thoroughly defiant and unrepentant Hank Williams III builds on his impressive debut by stripping away any semblance of upscale production values, reveling in self-styled debauchery and generally spittin’ at anything that gets in the way of his good time. Augmenting his basic band with pedal steel, dobro, blues harp, and fiddle, Hank III and company sound loosey-goosey, like they're recording in their own juke joint. Other than a searing blast of southern rock brio on "Trashville" (yet another screed directed at the milquetoast country mainstream in Music City), with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons adding some feisty guitar, Hank III stays firmly in a hard country groove, and mostly in an up-tempo vein. The title track, an artfully crafted honky-tonk lament complete with weeping steel guitar, is a moment when Hank III considers some misgivings about his lifestyle, but ultimately decides "livin’ the night life is where I belong." That puts some distance between himself and his legendary granddad, who boxed with God over his demons but felt powerless to deny them. III, on the other hand, doesn’t waste time worrying if he’s gonna burn in hell —- he’s too busy reveling in excess and substance abuse: "Whiskey, Weed & Women," "5 Shots of Whiskey," "Mississippi Mud" ("I take my shots straight outta the jug/ And I like to get pure drunk in that Mississippi mud"), and the furious barn-burner "Nighttime Ramblin’ Man" ("I’m a drinkin’, smokin’, tokin’ nighttime ramblin’ man") deliver on the hedonistic promise of their titles. But not every song parties hearty. The long gone, lonesome blues of "Callin’ Your Name," with III’s voice moaning and cracking like Hank I's, is powerful tear-in-the-beer stuff, and a somber take on Bruce Springsteen’s "Atlantic City" closes the album on a curious, noir note. Whatever III’s up to, it’s not like what anyone else is up to, and its overt suggestion of the candle burning at both ends adds a certain voyeuristic thrill to it all. See you in the funny papers, Hank.
- Release Date:
- Curb Records
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Compared to risin outlaw this album is more grass roots williams family music. I must say I am very impressed with what hank is doing for country music. Myself I have always disliked the country music being played on the radio stations in my area and I find relief in the fact that somebody is out there supporting the real country that I have come to know and love.
This album is everything I like about true country music. It is a great listen for those who like his grandfather's music as well as fans of ''alt-country'', americana, rockabilly, and similar genres. This is definately an album you don't want to miss.
Been a fan of Hank's for the last two years, and I gotta say, the man just does something to me. I have to be honest, I liked Risin Outlaw better, but this album is great! I've been fortunate enough to see Hank in concert twice in 2001 and met him both times. He's a great performer and a heck of a nice guy. I was happy to see that several of this albums tracks are ones I've heard him perform live. Glad he recorded them. I gotta say this, if you get the chance, go and see him live, he really is a trip in person, and he's the only artist on the planet who can bring Cowboys and Punks together in one place, and they all get along.
This was the first album of III's that I got, and it's my favorite. I think he really captured his vision on this album, achieving exactly what he set out to do without it being overpowering. He lets you know exactly what good country consists of, how it sounds, what is said, and how it makes you feel. And he does all of this without his style sounding dated or derivative, but rather inspired by the good ol' days before Nashville turned into MTV. His sound goes from powerfully lonesome to a raucous stomp in no time flat. The steady drums and thumping bass, the whine of steel guitar and the rusty twang of a resonator, the wail of the fiddle and Hank III's haunting vocals all mesh together to make one hell of an atmosphere, bringing thoughts of high desert winds, neon, cacti and coyotes.