The Brotherhood Between Hank3 and Marty Stuart

April 26, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  19 Comments

They say it’s a shame you can’t pick your family like you can pick your friends, but who would have ever picked the hellraising Hank Williams III and the holy cross-clad Marty Stuart to be buddies. But that’s exactly what they have been for years now, and the relationship has resulted in in some great music for the fans of both men.

I love him, he’s like my brother. Shelton is like family to me. I support him in everything he’s doing,Marty told The Boot when talking to them about his just-released album Nashville Vol. 1 – Tear The Woodpile Down.

The last track of the album is a Hank Williams Sr. gospel song originally recorded under the pseudonym “Luke The Drifter.” Hank3 and Marty first performed it as a duet on RFD-TV’s “Marty Stuart Show.” As Marty explained to The Nashville Scene, getting Hank3 to perform one of his grandfather’s songs is sort of a feat. The youngest Hank has staked his career on trying to stay out of the shadows of his famous father and grandfather. It might have been a suit from Hank Sr. that Stuart had as part of his vast country music archive he keeps in a warehouse in Nashville that helped seal the deal.

“I knew that that side of him is one that has been, you know, pressed upon him: ‘You go down grandpa alley.’ And I didn’t want to be one of the guilty ones for that. But I simply asked him if he would even consider coming to do a Hank song on [The Marty Stuart Show]. He was in the mood to do it. So he came out to the warehouse to rehearse with me, and I showed him one of his grandpa’s old suits. … He just peeled off in the middle of the office and put it on, and it fit! He showed up on that TV show and came around the corner, and everybody just lost their breath.”

When it came time to record Stuart’s new album, Marty liked the collaboration so much he asked Hank3 to do it again in the studio. But this wasn’t the first time the two men collaborated on a recording. Hank3’s 2008 album Damn Right, Rebel Proud included Marty Stuart on mandolin and some lead guitar, proving that Hank3 is not the only one of the two men willing to work outside of their comfort zone.

“They can bring Assjack next time,” Marty Stuart laughs.

Listen to a studio version of “A Picture From Life’s Other Side”

19 Comments to “The Brotherhood Between Hank3 and Marty Stuart”

  • nice write. thanks for the info. i hope they continue to work together and hank does more of granddad’s music. i’m in for either scenario.


    • I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would not want to see more Hank Sr. material from Hank3, from hardcore Hank3 fans, to folks who don’t even like him. It’s just such a hard road for him to walk, just like it was for Hank Jr. He does it too much, and people say he’s trying too much to be Hank Sr. You do it too little, people feel unfulfilled, especially seeing how Shelton sounds and looks so similar to Sr.


      • i can appreciate that, trig. i’m sure it’s a very fine and difficult line for him. if i could have one really good CD with a good number of hank sr’s songs on it by hank lll i’d be very happy. clam happy. then shelton could go off and make whatever type music he felt like because i think he’d be very well off due to it.


  • it’s not surprising given that Marty has always had a great respect for Hank,Sr. and has a few of Hank Sr.’s items that Hank III probably had never seen until now so naturally Marty would reach out to Hank III and Hank III has a love for the traditions than most people might give him credit for..so it fits


  • I think you’re forgetting hank3 had already done a cover of “ramblin’ man” on The Melvins The Crybaby album back in the year 2000


    • Not forgetting that, or the Hank Sr. song he did on disc 2 of “Straight to Hell.” Marty wasn’t saying he never does Sr. songs, it’s that Hank3 doesn’t necessarily like to too much, because he doesn’t want it presented like he’s riding coattails of his famous name.


  • Awesome story Triggerman! I’m a fan of both of these men. I’m not into Hank III’s harder metal stuff, but love his country music.

    This is really off topic, but I was wondering if you were going to do a review of Jason Eady’s new album “AM Country Heaven”. It is the best country album I’ve heard this year, and has echos of late 70’s early 80’s Merle Haggard all over it.


    • It looks like I have no other choice but to review it. That’s all I can say for now ;)


  • That is country.


  • Any idea what songs Marty plays on on Damn Right, Rebel Proud?


    • I think he definitely plays the solo on Wild and Free!


  • Amazing / awesome etc. I’ve met Marty Stuart (and Travis Tritt) back in the late 90’s when they were on tour together. He’s a hell of a musician and a good person, but even back in those days, I was concerned (and still am) that Marty is destined for a Branson stage. He’s really a perfect fit for Branson.

    I imagine it’s a great life for some performers. But (to me), his latest album shows that he’s gotta lot of great music and collaborations left in him before he retires (to the Branson scene).

    I’d love to see him embrace and work with the other real country musicians that are working hard to keep the music alive P.B. (pre-branson). Please? Marty?


    • I think when people see the name “Marty Stuart” they think of that “no hats” era with Travis Tritt, or the scarves and the gaudy garb he dresses in that maybe makes people think of Branson or the 70’s “Nashville Sound” era or something, when in reality his current sound is somewhere between Waylon Jennings and Jerry Reed. However old Marty is or however long he’s been around, what he’s doing right now feels very “young”, and I hope he’s far far away from any residency in Branson.

      I think one of the reasons Marty has been a hard sell for me is this stigma around him. If people would just put all there preconceived notions aside and just listen to this music, I think he would blow up, especially almost the independent country / Hank3 crowd. I don’t think Marty used Hank3 as a marketing ploy, I think they are genuinely good friends. But I’m really hoping that relationship helps erode people’s misconceptions.

      If people really mean it when they say they’re into REAL country, then they would be listening to Marty Stuart and jumping on his bandwagon.


  • Sounds like “Luke the Drifter” Did Hank Sr record this under that title?


    • Yes he did!


      • Thanks I’ll have to see if I have it in my Hank collection. This is when you know you have to much music. You don’t know if you have a song lol


  • Nice song!


  • They both have always seemed like the kinda guys to respect other people who are being honest with who they are and what they are doing.

    III respects the older players and pickers for sure.


  • I think Marry should’ve given Shelton that suit. But ain’t no telling what it’s worth.


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