Hank Williams Jr. and Chris Stapleton are gearing up to embark on an eight-date co-headlining tour through Florida, Texas, and the Midwest starting in Tampa on Friday, August 5th. But according to a recent interview with Hank Jr. ahead of the Tampa gig, he has no idea who Chris Stapleton is, or much of an inclination to find out apparently.
“Well, I haven’t heard the album,” Bocephus told the Tampa Bay Times about Chris Stapleton’s Traveller, which has turned the country music world upside down, been #1 on the country albums charts for what now feels like an eon, and won Stapleton a ton of hardware, including the ACM and CMA for Album of the Year, and well as Grammy distinctions.
“I don’t listen to much radio, so if it somebody that I don’t know, I probably don’t know their music either,” Hank Jr. continued, proving how clueless he is since part of the story behind Stapleton is how radio has virtually ignored him. “I have not worked with Chris in the past, nor do I remember ever meeting him. I always ask any of the artists that open up if they know ‘Family Tradition,’ since that’s my last song in the set, and if they do, I normally ask them to come on out and take a verse and have fun. When that song is done, I am gone. Headed right for the plane to head home.”
Well okay then.
Hank Williams Jr. has been famous over the last few years for only playing 20-25 shows tops, and not doing much else. He’s basically doing the motions through a working retirement. It’s not surprising that he wouldn’t have heard of Stapleton if he makes it a point to avoid mainstream country (which is not a bad practice these days), yet you might think he would put a little bit of effort out if he’s co-headlining with the guy.
“My agent Greg Oswald told me that [Stapleton] was a big fan of my stuff and wanted to do some shows,” Hank Jr. explains. “Normally I don’t know who is opening a show until I get to the show just before going on stage, but Greg really said we should do a package with Chris. They originally wanted me to do like 20 shows, and I picked eight to do with him.”
Regardless of Hank Jr.’s level of knowledge of his co-headliner, the shows should be a pretty kick ass time. Most are sold out, but if you want to try and scramble for tickets, here are the dates:
- Aug. 5 Tampa, FL. — MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
- Aug. 6 West Palm Beach, FL. — Coral Sky Amphitheatre
- Aug. 12 Houston, TX. — Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman
- Aug. 13 Austin, TX. — Austin360 Amphitheater
- Aug. 19 Cuyahoga Falls, OH. (Cleveland)– Blossom Music Center
- Aug. 20 Clarkston, MI. — DTE Energy Music Theatre
- Aug. 26 Noblesville, IN. (Indianapolis) — Klipsch Music Center
- Aug. 27 Cincinnati, OH. — Riverbend Music Center