I remember a young Johnny Cash, waiting in the wing/ Cause he'd hand me his cigarette, when he'd go out to sing/ And the good Ol Marshall Tucker Band, back in '83/ Was a special night they asked me, "Come on out and play Can't You see."
That's the first few lines from the song "Old School" on Hank Williams Jr. new album Old School/New Rules. In this track Hank sings about some fellow legends from Dolly to Jerry Lee Lewis. He expresses how proud he is to be from the Old School and how privileged he is to of had the helped he received.
We all know the story of how Jr. fell off that mountain, So I will not go into all that. This a album review and not a history lesson. If any of yall would like a history lesson, feel free to stay after class.
Twenty six years ago in 1987, Hank Williams Jr. released two albums. Those albums was Hank Live and Born To Boogie. Both of those are Certified Platinum. One year before those two in 1986, Jr. released Montana Cafe which is Certified Gold. For twenty six years it seemed as if Jr. just floated along putting out albums that really was not Bocephus quality. He was seen with Kid Rock and Uncle Cracker and other young acts, making t.v. appearances and name dropping them in songs. His relationship with Rock became so popular a lot of people even thought Rock was his son and folks was asking "who was this Hank WilliamsIII guy claiming to be Hank's son?" It seemed Bocephus was gone and he also like many others had become a puppet.
At some point recently, Jr. finally said the hell with this crap. Hank Jr. figured he wasn't young anymore and not going to kiss anyones ass. Rock nor Cracker is on Williams new album. It's been reported that at one show he said Hey Cracker it's not Detroit it's Dixie son! Stop messing up my damn song.
This time Bocephus sat down, layed down, shot cannons, got drunk or whatever the hell he does to write hits and did just that. On Hank Jr.'s website I read he has been writing songs for the past 26 years and not doing anything with them. Also his website says he wrote 10 of the 11 songs on Old School/New Rules.
I can say there is only 1 song I do not care for on this new album. 9 are great and 1 is....okay. Yes, there are several songs that mention politics and the shape our country is in. But the whole album is not a political rant. Cow Turd Blues, Old School, 3 Day Trip and That Ain't Good are not politcially charged songs. But so what if Jr. wants to rant and voice his opinions. Maybe he is the voice for some of yall that are afraid to say what you think. The music on this album is good, bottom line. Hell this is the best Jr. album in 26 years!
The album starts off with the track "Takin' Back The Country". This is a great song to start off with and sets the mood for the album. It is a reminder that Rockin, Rowdy, Randall Hank is still capable of making great music. Not to mention Hank Sr. has a line or two in it as well.
To read the entire review click HERE.