Music » Critics' Picks

Hank III

Thursday, March 30 at 8 p.m. Mississippi Nights (914 North First Street)


Hank Williams' grandson has a problem with Nashville. His two-disc Straight to Hell swipes at "pop country," guys who "write those hit songs down at PolyGram," and women who need "more dick down on Music Row." (And that's not even counting Hank III's dismissal of Kid Rock.) He's hardly the first country performer to rail against the strictures of Music Row; Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings have famously expressed their dissatisfaction with Nashville's assembly-line mentality. But Hell purports to be an avant-garde updating of outlaw country — and succeeds neither as an experiment nor as a return to basics, even though its first disc has some strong moments. "Low Down" works as a slice of basic Southern rock, and Williams achieves a thin, weird and speedy sound on "Country Heroes" and "Pills I Took."

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