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Classic Album Review: Hank Williams Jr. | Almeria Club / Hank Williams III | Lovesick, Broke & Driftin’

If you ever needed proof that musical genius skips a generation, here it is.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


They share a name with a country legend. They’re on the same record label. And they both have new albums out. But that’s where the similarities end between country-rock redneck Hank Williams Jr. and his honky-tonkin’offspring Hank III.

On his umpteenth album, Jr. tries to reconnect with daddy’s spirit by recording in the titular Almeria Club, some dilapidated backwoods ballroom where pa performed in the ’40s. Surprisingly, the move pays off most of the time — at least musically. These 13 country, bluegrass and blues tracks are some of the most traditional and authentic work Bocephus has delivered in years, long on grease, grit and groove and short on the rowdy trailer-park shtik he usually churns out. Too bad he’s still the world’s lousiest lyricist — unless you’re into songs about how much he likes pork chops and big boobies. Jr. would do well to follow the lead of Hank III, who hits the honky-tonk nail square on the head on his exceptional sophomore album Lovesick, Broke & Driftin’. Slipping into the rebel-rousing spirit and yelping yodel of his grandpa as easily and comfortably as an old pair of boots, young Hank cranks out 13 high-stepping two-steppers about hard liquor, hard luck and hard livin’, backed by old-time fiddle scratch, pedal-steel shimmer and standup bass thump. If you ever needed proof that musical genius skips a generation, here it is.