IV and the Strange Band Debut “Son of Sin”

A famous family name in country music is both the greatest asset one can hold, and the most unbelievably burdensome yoke from the expectations it foists upon you. Just ask the father, and the grandfather of Coleman Williams, who is the great grandson of Hank Williams, who was the man who along with siring the most important singing family in the history of country music (with all due respect to The Carters), also put together arguably the greatest career in country music history, all while dying a year younger than when Coleman is just starting his own career.

At 30 years old, the son of Shelton Hank Williams III has decided to throw his hat in the ring, and enter the family business. When this was first revealed in early March by Saving Country Music, the situation went super viral with rabid curiosity about what Coleman, or simply “IV” had in store. Initially the plan was to release a single earlier in April, and then an EP today, 4/20. But after the incredible attention that flowed to this young man, word is new opportunities opened up, he was taken into the management stable of Patrick Files who also manages Coleman’s father, and the 4th-generation performer was heading back into the studio.

It wasn’t just due to a new generation of Hank entering the fray that created such ferocious interest in IV and The Strange Band, it was also due to the fact that his father has been so out-of-sight for going on eight years, leaving an appetite for the type of punk-inspired country Hank3 helped popularize like nobody else previously.

This is what IV and The Strange Band look to tap into with the first taste of music, “Son of Sin.” While it’s certain to be taken as a strange specimen of music by straight-laced traditional country listeners, or perhaps even more by the sedate Americana crowd, the point of this song is to delve into the seedy underbelly of the American South, where Gothic and Gospel/country and metal influences intertwine in the muck of muddy water, and create a musical amalgam meant for an audience of lost souls.

Help making this vision come to life is producer Jason Dietz, who is also known as the bass player for the band The Hardin Draw, and has worked with former Hank3 bass player Joe Buck in the past. Guitarist David Talley and fiddler Laura Beth Jewell also of The Hardin Draw are involved in bringing the project to life under what they call “The Strange Band.”

There is no doubt that the result is something a bit unusual to the modern ear. After all, underground country has always carried a niche appeal to begin with, while that scene has virtually dissolved over the last 5-7 years for a myriad of reasons, including the virtual disappearance of Hank3. But make no mistake, “Son of Sin” is underground country at its very kernel root incarnated into a debut single, and should be considered as such, as opposed to what someone might want to hear from the next generation of Hank.

Since this is truly the first, nascent taste of music from IV and the Strange Band—and word is they headed back in the studio and are still developing this project—I’m choosing to reserve any strong judgement until we hear what comes next. But with the name, and with the interest already flowing to this effort, IV and The Strange Band is most certainly something worth keeping an eye and ear on.

READ: The Hank Williams Family Tree of Performers

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