The new Hank Williams Jr. album "Old School New Rules" dropped 7/10, and I have to say I was excited about listening to it in its entirety. It was produced by Bocephus Records, which is Williams' own company. If you would have asked me about Hank Williams Jr. (or HWJ, as l like to call him) a few years ago, I wouldn't have even batted an eye, but I have warmed up to him since seeing him live in concert.
It all started when my dad heard HWJ was coming to a small venue in Minnesota. He was very interested in going, so I took him to the concert for his birthday. I will admit, I wasn't excited. I knew who HWJ was, but wasn't interested, even though I do have an inherent love for all country music. I knew he sang the Monday Night Football theme song, but I didn't know much past that. When we got to the venue, I was impressed. It was small and cozy, and it helped that we had fairly good seats. As soon as the show began, I knew I was in for a treat. Out comes HWJ in all his glory, telling it like it is. At one point in the concert, he started talking about how HE is the one who decides where HE wants to go perform. And if HE doesn't want to go there, then he's NOT going. He said he likes small towns and has done well enough for himself that he calls his own shots.
During the show, he would change hats and throw the other ones across stage. At one point he was playing piano and the music stand wasn't set up right and he grabbed it and chucked it across the stage. I found it quite humorous. He was clearly having a good time, enjoying what he does. He is not afraid to do what he wants to do, and definitely isn't afraid to tell you his views and opinions.
I have enjoyed experiencing this new album, but it does come with a disclaimer...it is very political and may be offensive. HWJ brings up his conflict with ESPN and also his political views. Despite what you believe, there are still songs that are just good country tunes.
There are two songs that are my definite favorites, that don't touch so much on HWJ's opinions..."I'm Gonna Get Drunk and Play Hank Williams" which he sings with Brad Paisley, (and also performed live on the CMT Awards) and "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink" with Merle Haggard. If you are only going to listen to two songs off of this album- stick with those! :)
1. Takin' Back The Country
2. I'm Gonna Get Drunk And Play Hank Williams (feat. Brad Paisley)
3. Three Day Trip
4. Old School
5. We Don't Apologize For America
6. You Win Again
7. The Cow Turd Blues
8. Who's Taking Care Of Number One
9. That Ain't Good
10. Keep The Change
11. Stock Market Blues
12. I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink (feat. Merle Haggard)