Hank III: Live Last Night


Live Last Night

By Juli Thanki

In 1949, country music legends Ernest Tubb and Hank Williams toured together, bringing honky tonk to the masses. Sixty years later, their kinfolk are stepping up to fill some pretty big cowboy boots.

Shelton Hank Williams III could be his grandfather's doppelganger if it weren't for his ponytail, foul mouth, and tattoos. Williams and The Damn Band played 90 minutes of frenetic country and "hellbilly" music such as "Crazed Country Rebel" and "Pills I Took" before literally letting his hair down, swapping acoustic guitar for electric, and beginning a second lengthy set accompanied by his hardcore metal band, Assjack.

This combination of disparate genres drew a crowd, in Williams' words, composed of "the kids in black, the grandmas, the rednecks, and the bikers;" though a fair percentage of the crowd left after the country set, there was a surprisingly large cowboy hat and Pantera shirt-wearing demographic that appreciated Williams in both his country and metal incarnations.

(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)

The stellar opening act was Lucky Tubb, whose relation to great-uncle Ernest can be heard the second he opens his mouth. He and four piece backing band The Modern Day Troubadours alternated classic-sounding originals with covers from the family songbook including "Walking the Floor Over You" and "Used Up Love" (the latter's composer, uncle Glenn Douglas Tubb, penned several songs for Johnny Cash for over two decades).

The two joined forces for a pair of songs much to the delight of the crowd: Lucky Tubb original "Damn the Luck" and a cover of Hank Williams Jr.'s "Family Tradition." The current slick and superficial Nashville crowd may turn their noses up at these men, Williams, Tubb, and the thriving hellbilly movement have little use for them either. As III sang, "Not everybody likes us/But we drive some folks wild."

By David Malitz |  July 1, 2009; 1:05 PM ET Live Last Night
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