The long-rumored, long-anticipated Hank Williams III and David Allan Coe collaboration was a long time in the making and even longer coming. But it’s here, and though some may have been wishing for a few songs or even an entire album, clocking in at over 7 minutes, “The Outlaw Ways” will satiate your Hank3/David Allan Coe collaboration jones just fine.
It is easy to get over-hyped about a pairing such as this. History shows that these collaborations don’t always match the sum of their celebrity parts. Sometimes they fall flat, and sometimes they become part of country music lore, like the legendary pairing of Waylon Jennings and Hank Jr. in “The Conversation.” “The Outlaw Ways” is loosely based around this same lyrical structure, with the two country music Outlaws trading lines and coming together for the chorus. Both Hank Jr. and Waylon are also mentioned in the song. But instead of conversing about Hank Sr., Hank3 and David Allan Coe converse about each other and their friendship over the years, and about the authentic “Outlaw” identity that flies in the face of the faux Outlaw movement on Music Row these days.
“The Outlaw Ways” is no world beater, but it is a fun song with some cool moments in the verses that will be a treasure for the artists’ respective fans. With the most obvious focus being the pairing of the two men and the words, the music of “The Outlaw Ways” could have become an afterthought, but instead it is one of the songs strengths, starting off with a country fiddle riff, falling to half time in the ol’ Waylon style in the versus, and featuring a tasteful steel guitar solo in the middle.
When David Allan Coe was hospitalized after an accident in Florida, and with the recent passing of George Jones, it makes collaborations like this that much more prized and valuable. We let our country music heroes into our hearts and homes because we can connect with them so closely. It’s even more cool when they connect with each other.
1 1/2 of 2 guns up.
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(6-10-13) UPDATE: “The Outlaw Ways” has just been made available on Red 10″ Vinyl at Hank3’s web store.
Also available on iTunes and Google Play.
DAC: You know your grandpa was one of my heroes Hank
Hank3: David you were always one of mine
DAC: You know I loved them old Luke the Drifter songs
Hank3: Man, how I loved “The Ride.”
That song got me all balled up real deep inside.
DAC: That’s the same way that I felt, the day that I heard Waylon died.
Hank3: Ol’ Jr. once said it best. A country boy can survive.
DAC: Yeah I don’t even think you’ve started man. To hit your hellbilly stride.
Together: It’s The Outlaw Ways, living day by day,
it’s in the songs that we play, it’s in the things that we say.
Hank3: Might smoke a little, might drink a lot.
DAC: Brothers of the road with broken hearts
Hank3: If you think you might understand our crazy ways
DAC: You might be living The Outlaw Ways
Hank3: The ol’ Louisiana Hayride always respected Hank
It’s a shame the Opry don’t do the same
DAC: With all of them wannabe impersonators at the door
Hank3: And they still won’t reinstate the King of Country Music’s name
I’ve got my kin folks they can’t take that away from me
DAC: 3, you’ve been doing your own thing.
Hank3: You know that’s how it ought to be
DAC: Yeah you know you could’ve took the easy way out
and just rode on ol’ Hank Sr.’s name
DAC: You put the cunt back in country
and the dick back in Dixie too
Hank3: Hell you know I was being a rebel, doing what I had to do.
Sometimes you gotta do a little more than just kick down their door
DAC: You mean like Johnny Cash and “A Boy Named Sue”
Hank3: Remember back when you told them to kiss your ass.
Then you hit them with that “Longhaired Redneck” too.