HANK WILLIAMS III - A Few Thoughts (From Me) Regarding 'Rebel Within', ETC.

Hank Williams... III.

Now, I'm sure that everyone reading the line above had a different thought, reaction, opnion, etc.

I just finished listening to 'Rebel Within'. Hmm... I started listening with a recently read interview fresh in my mind. Just the other day I was scanning music sites and came across a Hank III interview. In it he proclaims the record to be a throw-away. Something not worth very much - put together only to fulfill his contract with his label. Nothing more. He says that he didn't put much effort into it because everything would have to be left behind with the label and he was reserving his energy for later work not to be owned by that particular label.

Do you admire or be concerned by an artist with that much forthright honesty? I suppose I feel a certain level of respect for the man for not hiding what he feels but... What can you truly say to this? It's his opnion. Some of the harder stuff that he considers his best work - his punkish roots - I don't like. It's not for me. I don't run it down or look down on it because I know that it means something to other people (who are not me). Everyone has different tastes in music and I actually enjoy the debate that arises out of this. So with this attitude I went in hoping that the $20 or more that I spent on the vinyl/CD package was going to be worth it.


Some of the album has a certain kind of charm and some of it gets in your face and proclaims its view in not taking itself seriously. This could be a good thing but it could also be a bad thing. This is not a record review. I've only listened once and the other listens I give to the album could very well give me new insight into the music. This is a rambling opinion/group of questions regarding the man himself.

As I listened to the album and thought back to the other albums he has done, I contemplated a few things. First off - does the man EVER take himself seriously. It very often seems as though he has gotten into the music industry for the fun of it all and to stir up a little bit (or a whole lot - depending on his mood) of contraversy every now and then. It's one thing to proclaim your dispisal of all things modern/popular/mainstream country and quite another to sit back and see what comes to you.

The man has a gorgeous tone when he puts it to use as well as an impressive (and to me, equally gorgeous) whine when he puts that to use. The first thing people need to see about him is that he is NOT his Grandpa no matter how much he sounds like (at times) and looks like him. He does have his own style of music when he does country as well as when he does other styles.

My main question being - who is Shelton Williams? Is Shelton the hard drinking, hard drugging, hard living persona that Hank III puts on in his songs or is he someone else entirely? I think too many people (himself included) focus too hard on the middle name. Is "Crazed Country Rebel" catchy? Yes it is, you'll never see me deny that (if you're eve rout near me, I'm the one driving by singing along) BUT do all the songs have to be about lcohal and drugs? It seems to me as though the entire new album is devoted to just that.

Am I the only one who thinks he should take some time just for himself now that his contract with the label is done? He needs to take the time to get back in touch with who HE is not who the label and other people want him to be. And if he knows who he is? Show us. Make a different kind of album no matter what the genre of music is that accompanies it. I think his music could only get stronger for it.

Of course, maybe I'm just thinking too hard but then again... he wasn't really lying (in my opinion) when he spoke of the new album being a hurried off obligation with no thought put into it. It sounds like something topic-wise (etc) that a few green kids put together in their daddy's garage.

Correct me if I am wrong.

Views: 145

Tags: Hank, III, Rebel, Shelton, Williams, Within

Comment by B.K. Allen on June 6, 2010 at 11:16am
yeah...I feel ya there. I'm hoping he's not a "one trick pony" and that he can expand beyond weed, whiskey, women and depression. I'm also hoping he doesnt run himself into the ground. I mean...hell, he will have played 3 shows in Washington in the span of 3 months...
Comment by Stina on June 6, 2010 at 11:40am
I raised a brow myself when I saw that within a short span of time he'll play Ontario, Quebec, then Ontario again.
Comment by B.K. Allen on June 6, 2010 at 11:43am
Sure path to burn out...especially if he's half of what he portends to be in his songs...
Comment by Stina on June 6, 2010 at 11:53am
He could stay in one town and quickly burn out if he's a quarter of what he portends to be in his songs! "Pills I Took" and "Crazed Country Rebel" as examples LOL
Comment by B.K. Allen on June 6, 2010 at 11:55am
and dont forget...Im a candidate for suicide...im burned out and too far gone....

*crosses fingers*
Comment by Stina on June 6, 2010 at 11:58am
He puts depressing lyrics to lively, toe tapping lyrics. Whereas Ryan Adams puts his sad, depressing lyrics to sad music. Something for every occassion... (shakes head) And I like them both! :P What's that say about me?
Comment by B.K. Allen on June 6, 2010 at 12:00pm
I'd tell ya...but then I'd have to charge ya psychiatrist fees. ;)
Comment by Stina on June 6, 2010 at 12:09pm
:P It's almost bad as the amount of crap I'm in the middle of taking out of my attic. Wondering why I've held onto all of this stuff for so long. Contemplating a yard sale in a few weeks. LOL. Sad...
Comment by KClowlife on June 7, 2010 at 1:49pm
2 thoughts. First, does he ever take himself seriously? Well, he stopped playing so much punk when his son was born. That was when he bit the bullet and started getting into country and staking out his name as Hank III. Second, have you seen one of his shows? Even when he's talking a bit of shit about an album, it's clear to me that he loves the music and loves performing.

I am a huge fan of his. But as I've gotten older I've expected less out of my performers via them living a life that is the same as their lyrics. You hear stories and you learn to tell them in your own voice, set to a beat and suddenly you're a songwriter.
Comment by B.K. Allen on June 7, 2010 at 2:21pm
best live show i've seen in years


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.