Review: Waylon Sings Hank Williams

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Like two ghosts galloping in from a legendary and dusty past, Waylon and Hank revisit us in the recently released Waylon Sings Hank Williams.

I grew up in the Mississippi Delta region of Southeast Missouri where my uncle used to walk around carrying a guitar and listening to or moaning the Hank Williams blues on a daily basis. For that, I will be forever grateful.

Another uncle wasn’t quite so pleased. He used to tell the other, “Turn that redneck music off” so he could listen to Three Dog Night. According to my brother, the latter met the hard side of a radio upside his head one evening for trying to turn Hank off.

As a teenager here in Texas, a long haired, country cousin of mine used to raise H E and double L riding around with ol’ Waylon turned up loud and me tagging along.

So, when I was asked if I’d like to review Waylon sings Hank Williams, I quickly replied, “I’d be honored.” And I am.

After listening to Loretta’s Van Lear Rose recently, which I liked, I honestly didn’t know what to expect.

I received the review copy today and in eager anticipation, listened to it on the way to Kroger.

Wow! I can only imagine what the executives at YMC Records were thinking and feeling when they first heard it. According to them, Waylon recorded these songs as a tribute to his own hero in 1985.

The clear, lonesome, blue lyrics of Hank Williams shine through with the rugged outlaw voice of Waylon pairing it up. The effect made me want to jump up and say, “Yeah, Wail It!” but, I was trying to drive.

A few of the songs on the CD I had never heard. Be Careful of the Stones That You Throw was especially touching. This is not one of those CD’s where you like a few of the best songs. The complete CD is a masterpiece of country music.

If the songs weren’t enough, Waylon Speaks at the end and shares some of Waylon’s deep and personal feelings, including a tale of him getting expelled from high school music class.

I thought I was getting lucky by getting the CD to review. Now, it looks as if I will need to go buy a copy for my uncle and maybe even an extra one for that long haired, country cousin of mine.

Thanks, Waylon.

Karen Raine is a Texas based freelance writer whose interests include travel, art, antiques, collectibles and country music. Karen is also a songwriter and can be reached at [email protected]