By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
It's not easy being Hank Williams. Number one suffered a pained back and an ambitious hellcat of a wife in Miz Audrey, among other travails, before shuffling off this mortal coil. Two took a header off a mountain onto his face after years of being dressed up and paraded across the boards as the reincarnation of his dad by the aforementioned Miz Audrey. He also has a son who's none too fond of him in Hank III, who seems to all but celebrate being a vessel for all the family sins, struggles and traditions that come with being Hank Williams.
A punk rocker prior to being slapped with a child-support suit that prompted him to go country (sorta) and cash in (sorta) on being his granddaddy's namesake and near-spittin' image, Hank III visits Big D this time out fronting Assjack. It's pretty much the same players as the Damn Band, his adrenal C&W backing group. But the name shift signals that this tour is more Jason & The Scorchers or Sex Pistols than Wayne Hancock (whom Hank III admires near as much as his granddad) with his wild-hair Southern style fashioned into a proverbial Mohawk cut.
In typical Hank III fashion, he's touring in support of an album his label (Curb Records) refuses to release, This Ain't Country. Where Hank I moaned the blues over his life and Hank Jr. partied to stanch the pain, Hank III--like the genuine rebel he is--approaches it all like a battle royal. It makes for a truly dynamic concert experience. And for all the eerie echoes of his namesake he carries and near-WWF freak show his appearances can be, the young'un truly has the Williams genes as a singer, writer and living embodiment of an icon. Let's just hope he can get out of this world alive.
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