There has been a Hank3 sighting, even if it was via the miracle of video.
At Wednesday night’s (2-15) Ameripolitan Awards hosted by Dale Watson and Ray Benson, Hank Williams III, who not much has been seen or heard of for a few years now, was up for Best Outlaw Male. Along with Dale Watson, Hank3 had a significant impact in helping to form a country music underground that has given rise to things such as Ameripolitan, and even the success of artists like Sturgill Simpson. But as underground and independent country has been making its biggest strides, Hank3 has been absent from the spotlight.
Some wondered why Hank3 would even be up for an award when he hasn’t released a new album since 2013, and hasn’t been touring in a number of years. But like many of the Ameripolitan awards, it’s not just about the impact of an artist today, but over their careers, and Hank3’s impact is hard to question. Perhaps there was also some hope that giving Hank3 an award might coax him out from the shadows where he’s been lingering for the last little while.
And with the strong support Hank3 still enjoys, he won the fan-voted 2017 Ameripolitan for Best Outlaw Male handedly. Fans hoping Shelton would be there in person were disappointed, but he did make a video for the presentation. Hank3 didn’t say much, but he did thank the Ameripolitan awards for the distinction, as well as “I’ll be seeing y’all on down the road real soon,” which is a welcome sign from Hank3 fans.
Hank3 explained to SiriusXM’s Alamo Jones in January of 2016 that his disappearance is partly due to having to vacate his semi-famous “Haunted Ranch” in east Nashville. And packing and hauling all his accumulated stuff has proved to be a herculean effort.
“Been having to rebuild camp,” Hank3 said as he co-hosted a show with Alamo Jones from the famous Jack Clement Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa in Nashville. “No camp, no war. So once the camp is officially taken care of, we’ll be back in the trenches … Musical gear and all that stuff just piles up. You hold on to everything. It’s almost like homesteading in its own sort of certain way.”
Hank3’s favorite dog Trooper also past way recently.
Also for those who can’t wait to hear Hank3’s voice again on some new music, he actually appeared on a track by Rudy Parris recently called “Makin’ My Way” that flew under most people’s radar. Rudy is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist from the San Joaquin Valley in California who has played residencies at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in Bakersfield. He’s also known for competing on Season 3 of NBC’s “The Voice.”
“Making’ My Way” is the title track off of Rudy’s 2016 album recorded at the famous Capitol Records Studio B in California, and also features appearances from Little Joe and Dwight Yoakam collaborator Pete Anderson. You can hear the track below.
So for many Hank3 fans, at least there are positive signs that Hank3 could re-emerge in 2017, while Saving Country Music has also heard murmurings that Hank3 might be pursuing touring with other headline-level artists in the future. In the past Hank has toured with himself, or with an opener.