No. 2 Nielson Top Current Country Albums
No. 18 Nielson Total Top Current Albums
20,000 Albums sold JUST THIS WEEK !Man, what can I say? This thing may be groundbreaking. I’ve always said that if Hank III even had a little promotion behind him he would see dramatically more success. That is why I mentioned promotion in the freehank3.org Mission Statement. Now, the hope is Country DJ’s see this and start giving his stuff some play, and with numbers like this, if they still don’t, then without question the fix is in.
Maybe Curb Records has something to do with all of the reviews and interviews and exposure Hank III has enjoyed on this album launch, but at some point Shelton changed his management people, and without question the job these people are doing is making all the difference. And I also am inclined to give all of us, the grass roots, some credit for this too.
One Hank III Hellbilly is better in loyalty and action than ten generic pop country fans. So when you take that into consideration and look at these numbers, they become even more staggering.
Yes, Straight to Hell might be a better or more significant album, but Damn Right, Rebel Proud might be the one that puts Shelton on the map, and makes him a legitimate player in the realm of country music. And I’m not just talking shit.
The Bitch of DRRP (more interviews):
There’s a couple more Hank III interviews that have surfaced. There’s one from LA Weekly you can read by CLICKING HERE .
But the one I want to focus on, and one of the BEST interviews I’ve ever read with him is from Jambase.
There’s a ton of great info in it, but it explained something I know a lot of you are wondering about: THE BITCH.
If you look in the liner notes of DRRP, you will see that it says the record was produced by “A BITCH.” What this is in reference to is a person who was involved in the recording process. I have been unable to determine at this point if this was someone Shelton hired, or someone that Curb Records hired or insisted on being part of the process, but Hank III speaks in detail about this in the interview.
“I think Straight to Hell  was a better record than this one. It was a lot smoother; a lot better tricks are going on. Here, the creativity was not going on, I didn’t have the right guys working with me on this one. That’s kind of the summation of how I’m feeling about it.”
So, what do you mean about “the right guys”?
“Not the musicians. It’s the people in the behind the scenes process of it that were not quite there. For a prime example, you don’t fucking start coming off drugs when you’re going to start working with me; that’s nothing but problems. You’re setting yourself up for a disaster. Other personal issues that are fucking with them, they bring that with them into our session and it just turns into a pissing match,” says Williams. “Like I’m going to ask you to make an effect [he demonstrates] and you’re going to take 45-minutes to make that effect. Riiiight. It’s called Pro Tools, you’re supposed to be a wizard at it, not fucking retarded and slow and just pissing me off. If you’re not going to work with me, just cancel the day. Don’t make me sit here for five fucking hours to get two fucking delays out of you. That’s a little bit of the insight into the behind the scenes tediousness of being in a room with a guy who’s not on the same page with you day after day, trying to have a pissing match with you. I mean, that’s pretty much what happened on the whole record. Not the players, but the other folks who have to make it go down. It can get to you. Sometimes it’s fun and laid back and sometimes it’s a grind and just a bummer, because you’re trying to get creative, not have your creativity blocked. That’s a bit of a buzzkill when that happens.”
Just as a note, I wrote about Pro Tools in THIS BLOG , and as I said in the comments (on MySpace) , Pro Tools is not the problem, it is the people who use it to make people with no talent sound good.
Again in this article Hank III voices his disappointment in this album, and he seems to blame a lot of his issues on “THE BITCH.” If “The BITCH” was somebody that Shelton hired and it didn’t work out, then whatever. But if it was someone Curb Records insisted be part of the recording process, well then that is a whole other thing entirely, and I do not think it is a stretch to say that the recording process for DRRP was accidentally or maybe purposely torpedoed by Curb.
As I’ve said before, I think the songs themselves on DRRP are great, and overall I think it is a good album. But if I have any issues with it, they are in the ‘production,’ meaning the actual recording, and maybe some of the arranging and overdubbing used in the songs. It is hard to fault Hank III for these issues since now we know about “THE BITCH.”
He also talks more candidly about Curb than he has in a while:
” Damn Right is yet another skirmish. The parental advisory sticker and release on Curb subsidiary label Sidewalk are, according to Williams, “Curb’s way of not standing behind me. It’s like how the last record was on Bruc Records, this one is on Sidewalk. That’s just their way of not supporting me or not being proud of what I do. That’s just their way of not saying, ‘Yes, we are Curb Records and we stand behind this guy and are not ashamed to work with him.'”