“Tidy” is not a word often associated with the against-the-grain work of Hank III, but it’s a fitting way to describe the way “Long Gone Daddy” packages up a full-bodied sampling of his career, style and influences.
Due April 17 on Curb Records, this 10-song collection could have been titled “Long Gone Granddaddy” for the shuffling country blues flavor of not just the Hank Williams covers but of much of the batch.
Grandpa’s contributions, title track “I’m A Long Gone Daddy” and “Neath A Cold Gray Tomb of Stone,” are complemented by fiddle and steel-drenched songs written by generations he influenced, including Merle Haggard (“The Bottle Let Me Down”), Johnny Cash (“Wreck of the Old 97”) and Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson (“Good Hearted Woman”).
The singer-songwriter Hank Williams influenced most – on this record, at least – is Hank III, whose remarkable vocal, including yodeling sendoff on the title track, would have been just right on a circa 1950 Grand Ole Opry or Louisiana Hayride stage.
A collection of six previously unreleased recordings and four resurrected from prior releases, the album is an exclamation point on the style and mood of Hank III’s 1999 “Risin’ Outlaw” breakthrough and acclaimed follow-up “Lovesick Broke & Driftin’.”
As “This Ain’t Montgomery,” a lament of the state of modern country, states: “Hank Williams is dead and he ain’t comin’ back here again.”
True, of course. But he’d be proud of his grandson.
1) I’m A Long Gone Daddy
2) Sun Comes Up
3) The Bottle Let Me Down
4) Wreck Of The Old ’97
5) Neath A Cold Gray Tomb Of Stone
6) The Wind Blew Cold
7) Good Hearted Woman
8) This Ain’t Montgomery (with Joey Allcorn)
9) What They Want Me To Be
10) If The Shoe Fits (Shuffle Mix)