Friday, December 5, 2008

Latest Hank Online Reviews

Few artists lay claim to places in history like Hank Williams. He sits among the elite who pioneered not just a genre or style, but the music of an entire nation. Williams shares his lofty perch with the likes of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, The Beatles, Bill Monroe, Bob Wills, Jimi Hendrix, and Robert Johnson. You don’t often see Bird and Wills listed in the same sentence, but there you go.

With songs of loneliness and heartache, Hank Williams influenced the entirety of American songwriting. His work sits as a crucial link in the evolution of American music, marrying the traditions of western swing, bluegrass, and gospel. His style would pave way for the early rock n’ roll giants Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley, among others. More recently, his influence can be found in the alternative-country and folk worlds with artists like Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams, Darrell Scott, and Lyle Lovett.

Read more at Muzik Review

Hank Williams wasn't around very long to enjoy the spotlight, as he didn't come to the public's attention in a big way until 1949 and was dead four years later, so there has never been a huge library of his recordings available for fans to listen too. However, back in 1950-51 he recorded a series of radio shows that were sponsored by Mother's Best Flour, and because of his extensive touring schedule he was forced to pre-record the shows on acetate discs. It's these recordings that Time Life have used as the source for their new release Hank Williams: The Unreleased Recordings. The three CDs come handsomely packaged in a tall hard cover package that opens like a book. On the inside front cover are the first two CDs, followed by thirty-eight pages of photographs and text giving the history of the recordings and Williams' biography, with the third disc on the inside of the back cover.

Hank treats his audience to many popular tunes such as “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You,” “When The Saints Go Marching In,” and “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain.” A song or two of his studio work has traces of what will become rock ‘n’ roll. Listen to the lyrics again to “Hey, Good Looking;” you got hot rods, soda, and dancing dates. He’s only a few steps away from truly being the granddaddy of rockabilly. Check out “Cherokee Boogie,” “California Zephyr” and “a little masterpiece of nonsense,” as Hank introduces it, titled “Mind Your Own Business” with its added edgy verse about getting knocked around by the missus.

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