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All My Rowdy Friends: Best of Hank Jr

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Whether you’re an ardent fan or just looking for a good place to become acquainted with the outlaw twang-rock of Hank Williams Jr., this 2012 compilation is a must-have. It appropriately opens with “Family Tradition,” where Jr. stakes his claim in country while divorcing himself from his father's strict honky tonk traditions. Of course this could only be followed up with “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound,” a slower tune that muses on hard drinking and fast living over twangy pedal steel notes, a rootsy fiddle solo, and some sharp Telecaster picking. You can hear some of that slick early-'80s production seeping in by “Old Habits,” where Jr.’s now-unvarnished voice provides a gritty contrast as he sings mournfully of the vices he had to give up in order to stay alive and healthy. In a haunting rendition of “There's a Tear in My Beer,” he duets with his late father via 1989 studio magic. 


Born: 26 May 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...
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