There was most certainly a time in country music—and even in it’s more open-minded and less commercially-concerned cousin of Americana—where not fitting neatly within the gender binary would be a significant burden on the attention you would receive for your music. 2022 is not that time though.
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. Now another legendary moment has been logged on the register.
It’s also just really damn cool that Hank Jr. took of his time to do this instead of releasing yet another album of semi-original late career stuff that country radio wouldn’t play, and his fans would quickly forget in favor of his classic stuff anyway. So have a little fun. Make a passion project.
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.
Even though names like Jimmie Rodgers, Roy Acuff, and The Carter Family loom large for many of country music’s devoted fans, they don’t necessarily rise to the level of household names like Ernest Tubb, and of course the great Hank Williams, who was the centerpiece of the third installment of the Ken Burns ‘Country Music’ documentary.
Arnold Schultz, Bill Monroe, Chet Atkins, Don Maddox, Dwight Yoakam, Earl Scruggs, Eddie Stubbs, Ernest Tubb, Faron Young, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, Grand Ole Opry, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, Hazel Smith, Holly Williams, Ken Burns, Kitty Wells, Lesley Riddle, Lester Flatt, Little Jimmy Dickens, Merle Haggard, Nathan Turk, Nudie Cohn, Ralph Stanley, Roy Nichols, Rufus Payne, Tee-Tot, The Carter Family, The Maddox Brothers and Rose, The Stanley Brothers, Tom T. Hall, Webb Pierce
For many years, the influence and contributions of African American musicians in country music went mostly overlooked, or overshadowed by their Caucasian counterparts. However there has been a recent trend by media and even some artists to overstate the influence of African Americans.
Aaron Vance, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Hank Williams, Jimmie Allen, Jimmie Rodgers, Kane Brown, Leyla McCalla, Mickey Guyton, Ray Charles, Rhiannon Giddens, Rufus Payne, Valerie June
Let’s face it. For a host of reasons, it’s pretty rare to see African Americans making country and roots music. But when they do, more often that not, they’re doing it the right way, pushing the music forward creatively while fiercely helping to preserving the past, becoming part of the solution instead of prolonging the problem.
Aaron Vance, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Charley Crockett, Charley Pride, Cleve Davis, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey, Dom Flemons, Jerry Pentacost, Kaia Kater, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton, Milton Patton, Rhiannon Giddens, Rufus Payne, Tony Jackson, Valerie June
Hank Williams Jr.’s politics and boisterous attitude will always make him one of the most polarizing figures in country music history. But those who are quick to overlook his musical contributions both on and off the stage, the amazing body of work he’s amassed over his legendary career, and the mark he’s made on country music are doing Bocephus and themselves a huge disservice.
You won’t see Reno, Nevada’s Hellbound Glory at the top of anyone’s ‘Best Of’ lists this year, unless it relates to touring or live performances. Leroy Virgil & the boys didn’t leave much time for recording and releasing albums in 2013; they were too busy ripping off one of the toughest, busiest, and arguably the most notable touring schedules in 2013 from an independent country act.