Sitting on a shelf somewhere inside the Curb Records complex was an album called This Ain’t Country that Hank III had turned into them for release. The ensuing legal battle over the release of the album is where the cold war between Curb and Hank III became hot. Curb sat on the album, never releasing it, and refusing to allow Hank III to release it independently or on another label. Now Curb has decided to release it many years later, as well as possibly other shelved recordings as a title called Hillbilly Joker. It is due out April 5th, 2011 and can be pre-ordered through Amazon. It appears it will be available on vinyl, as well as CD & MP3.
This Ain’t Country would probably be best described as a blend of Hank III’s country band, and his heavy metal band Assjack. Hank III regularly performs a ‘Hellbilly’ set between the two distinctly different live sets, and the This Ain’t Country material takes from that middle set. This Ain’t Country has been distributed in the underground for years as a bootleg, and some of the songs appeared on Hank III’s heavy metal Assjack release. The name ‘Hillbilly Joker’ comes from This Ain’t Country’s opening track.
The album was recorded in the early 2000’s, and once Curb would not release it, an online petition was started that read in part:
Music is probably the most widespread form of expression throughout the world, crossing many boundaries of race, religion, and gender. When an artist is not allowed to have his or her voice heard because of oppression from those with different views, I consider this a sad and unrighteous act by those who won’t let them speak out.
The purpose of this petition is to bring to light the voices of those people who would like to have a fair chance to listen to the recorded material by Hank Williams III and Assjack known as “This Ain’t Country.” By having Curb Records release this material as an album available to us, the consumer, the true diversity and talent of the performing artists can finally be heard.
I believe that Curb records and fans of Hank Williams III would both benefit from the release if this proposal were accepted, the records would sell and the public would not be denied what we want to hear; it’s the right thing to do financially and morally. Thank you.
Hypothetically this release is the resolution of this petition. I am very curious to find out what Hank III feels about this. He might be happy that it is finally getting released, or he may not appreciate Curb making money off of him now that he has left.
Hank III is saying “Don’t buy it, but get it some other way and burn the hell out of it and give it to everyone.”
The cover art and track list has also been added:
|1. Hillbilly Joker|
|2. I’m Drunk Again|
|3. Life Of Sin|
|4. 10 Feet Down|
|5. Pistol Packin’|
|6. Tennesse Driver|
|8. Now He’s Dead|
|9. Drink It, Drug It|
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