Hank Williams Jr. Plays Surprise Show at American Legion Post
A lot of legendary moments in country music have happened at the American Legion Post #82 in Nashville after the once-forgotten spot in the world was revitalized by young neotraditional country performers looking for somewhere to play. It’s since become a hot spot, especially around Honky Tonk Tuesdays that are a staple of the Nashville country music diet. Now another legendary moment has been logged on the register.
As part of AmericanaFest happening this week in Nashville, Hank Williams Jr. made an unannounced surprise performance at the American Legion post on Thursday evening, September 15th, helping to promote his new blues album Rich White Honky Blues released on Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound record label … or should we say, Thunderhead Hawkins made an appearance, since that’s Hank’s blues music alter ego.
Backing Hank Jr. up was a badass blues band that included Dan Auerbach himself. Patrick Carney also jumped behind the drum set for the final song of the 25-minute set that started around 6:30 pm. Dan Auerbach and The Black Keys also played a few songs afterwards, which for the right audience may have been just as exciting or more. Nikki Lane also played before Hank Jr. to warm the stage up.
With the way Hank Jr. rarely plays any shows these days—maybe 15 or so a year—the Country Music Hall of Famer playing a tiny room like the American Legion is definitely rare treat. He also played another popup show there in June, right before the new record came out.
Those who know Hank Williams Jr., they know that he’s always considered the blues as the ultimate foundation to his sound, not dissimilar to his famous father, who was taught to play guitar by a local blues performer named Rufus “Tee-Tot” Payne.
“The blues is where it all comes from,” says Williams. “It’s the start of everything musical in my family; everything starts with Tee-Tot and flows from there. I’ve always flirted with this stripped back blues—all the way back to the ‘80s. But I finally made an album that’s just that, and I like it.”
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For continuing coverage of AmericanaFest and Born & Raised Fest this weekend, follow Saving Country Music on Instagram.
September 15, 2022 @ 6:57 pm
Trig, I think it’s Thunderhead not Thunderbird.
September 15, 2022 @ 7:15 pm
September 15, 2022 @ 8:19 pm
Don’t tell me you were lucky enough to be at the Legion, & catch this show …
September 16, 2022 @ 5:53 am
I’d have loved to been there!
September 16, 2022 @ 6:20 am
So would I,hoptowntiger94
September 16, 2022 @ 7:41 am
Trigger, how did you find out about this show?! I am in Nashville for AF and would have done just about anything to have experienced this show.
September 16, 2022 @ 9:34 am
It was one of those somebody texted somebody who texted me situations. There was definitely a concerted effort to keep it under wraps, or stuff would have gone crazy. I had to talk my way in too. It was mostly artists and industry there, and some press.
Blind Night Train McGillicuddy
September 16, 2022 @ 3:10 pm
Hank Jr is a real “man of the people”, huh? That blues record must be tanking hard if he’s playing shows for journalist and hipsters.
September 16, 2022 @ 4:34 pm
Maybe Jr. just wanted a night out at the Legion, playing with friends.
September 16, 2022 @ 6:09 pm
Dude, Hank Jr. doesn’t need journalists or hipsters, nor you. How ridiculous.
September 16, 2022 @ 8:01 pm
I’ve always hated that phony racist redneck sonofabitch!
September 17, 2022 @ 3:51 am
Amazed that you had to say that. Or you could’ve not said anything
September 17, 2022 @ 8:36 pm
Man I am surprised at you… we’re you raised by someone just like you are discribing or were you born and liven in the 19th century or are you simply a TWO FACED little man that just let it slip out .
September 16, 2022 @ 10:58 pm
AmericanaFest is much more an industry conference as opposed to a music festival. There are hundreds of these kinds of private parties that go down all week. If word had gotten out that Hank Jr. was playing there for free, it would have shut down multiple city blocks in the vicinity with people crushing to be there. Labels like Easy Eye Sound do these kinds of events all week. Hank Jr. did not choose the audience. They probably asked him if he wanted to play, and he said yes. I can tell you this, the man was having a blast up there.
September 19, 2022 @ 4:26 am
Yeah he was, we were lucky to be right up front!
September 17, 2022 @ 1:57 pm
Trig what’d you do wave your Saving Country Music all access laminate at the door and throw in a few “don’t you know who I am’s?”…..lol “I’m Trigger from SCM the most important independent if not all Country music journalist in the world!!! You have to let me in!!!” I’m sure you always pull out all the stops……whatever it takes to get us good pics and a great story. We appreciate it!!
September 16, 2022 @ 4:21 pm
Love me some Bocephus. The guy is a legend.
Give it to me baby
September 17, 2022 @ 6:23 am
September 19, 2022 @ 10:26 pm
Hank Williams Jr is the best country & blues singer ever
September 22, 2022 @ 10:05 am
The man puts on one hell of a show seen him 4 times