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Album Review

At a certain point, Hank Williams, Jr.'s act became pure schtick. On record, it probably can be narrowed down to 1990, when he released America (The Way I See It). A decade and half prior to that, he had perfected his rowdy, rockin' rebel sound, but with America, his outlaw attitude blended with reactionary redneck politics, jingoistic slogans, football anthems, and sendups of contemporary U.S. life. From that point on, each album got progressively sillier, relying on near-parodies like "Fax Me a Beer" and "Don Juan D'Bubba" as his voice started to fade away. With 1999's Stormy, his first album in three years, he turns this all to his advantage. Plenty of stars have larger than life personas, but Hank Jr.'s is so large it can be perceived as both genuine and self-parody. Make no mistake, Stormy will play well to his legions of fans, simply because it delivers. It's been a while since he's created an album so lean and hard, filled with strong rockers, honky tonkers, and ballads. Hank Jr. also knows that his audience loves fights, football, and partying because he is his audience — a good-old boy out for a good time. Stormy is the ideal soundtrack for that because he gives them exactly what they want. To an outsider, though, the album could be seen as a big joke, as titles like "I'd Love to Knock the Hell Out of You," "Where Would We Be Without Yankees," "Naked Women and Beer," "Hank Hill Is the King," and "Sometimes I Feel Like Joe Montana" (a ballad, nonetheless) suggest. Hank Jr.'s whole act may be schtick, but it's schtick that works because it's genuine and heartfelt. You may laugh with or at him, and Stormy is fun either way.


Born: May 26, 1949 in Shreveport, LA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The offspring of famous musicians often have a hard time creating a career for themselves, yet Hank Williams, Jr. is one of the few to develop a career that is not only successful, but markedly different from his legendary father. Originally, Hank Jr. simply copied and played his father's music, but as he grew older, he began to carve out his own niche and it was one that owed as much to country-rock as it did to honky tonk. In the late '70s, he retooled his image to appeal both to outlaw country...
Full bio