For those fans of Hank Williams III that wished he’d stayed or go back to his early 2000’s neo-traditionalist country style and release more material reminiscent of that era, you may have just received your wish. And for the Hank3 fans that are worried that his post-Curb career will be marred by incessant album releases of rehashed material and leavings swept up on the cutting house floor, your concerns have just been validated.
Saving Country Music has learned from multiple sources that Curb Records is at work on releasing a new Hank3 (or more aptly titled, “Hank III”, his Curb-era handle) album. Though a track list and title are not available at the moment, the material is said to be mostly constructed from outtakes from the recording of Hank3’s first two solo albums, Risin’ Outlaw from 1999, and Lovesick, Broke & Driftin’ from 2002.
Hank3 entered into a 6 album contract with Curb in the late 90’s after a child custody suit and a judge forced him to get a “real job”. Curb was able to stretch Hank3’s album count to 7 by releasing Hillbilly Joker last year, a “hellbilly” album Curb initially rejected, but released after Hank3 had fulfilled his contract at the end of 2010. This new outtakes album will bring the total to 8, hypothetically with additional Hank3 material still left in the Curb coffers, including a Johnny Paycheck cover rejected as part of the Damn Right, Rebel Proud album, and the almost inevitable “Greatest Hits” card Curb has yet to play.
This newest album will again leave Hank3 fans conflicted if they should respect an ongoing Curb Records boycott that has now stretched to fans of Tim McGraw who along with many other artists, has had their issues with Curb, or purchase the new material from one of their favorite artists. Hank3 suggested that fans steal, copy, and bootleg Hillbilly Joker, which had already been in circulation as a bootleg years before Curb released it, but that did not stop the album from charting in the top 10 on Billboard. And unlike Hillbilly Joker, this new outtakes album will likely contain material never heard by the public before.
The Hank3 camp is planning to release a statement about this album once more information is known about it. Stay tuned to Saving Country Music for info on this developing story.