Volume 95, Issue 79

Thursday, February 21, 2002
 
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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Joydrop's Juno nod satisfies hunger for success

London's Ruth's Hat rocks the old skool

Disc of the Week

Disc of the Week

Hank Williams III
Lovesick, Broke & Driftin'

Curb

Although Hank Williams III, the grandson of the legendary Hank Williams, isn't part of the "y'all-ternative" scene, he shares with those who are (artists and bands like Son Volt, Ryan Adams and Lucinda Williams) a certain energy and integrity that has successfully rehabilitated country music.

On Williams' second full-length release, Lovesick, Broke & Driftin', he continues to mine the same traditional country territory he did on his first album, 1999's Risin' Outlaw.

Indeed, not much has changed between the two, but the lack of progression matters not when you write songs as well as Williams.

The opening "7 Months, 39 Days" is a rollicking number with some fine slide guitar and fiddle work, while "5 Shots Of Whiskey" is a rambling, mid-tempo number. "Cecil Brown" and "One Horse Town" are both lonesome ballads, the latter featuring a yodel that rivals his grandfather's trademark.

But it's not an isolated moment – there are several other points on the album where the younger Williams' voice is amazingly close to his late grandfather's unique tenor.

Though Hank III's music is steeped in tradition, his lyrics tend to expand a bit beyond the usual country subject matter. Sure, there are tales of heartbreak and poverty, but he also includes more references to marijuana than your average hip-hop record and songs like "Whiskey, Weed and Women" and "Nighttime Ramblin' Man" describe a type of debauchery that his country elders may well have lived, but never would have sung about.

The best track on Lovesick happens to also be the only one Williams didn't write himself. His cover of the classic Springsteen tune "Atlantic City" is nothing short of brilliant – a complete reinvention that best displays Williams' talents.

As for the rest of the album, it may not be groundbreaking, but it sure is knee-slappin' good.

–Aaron St. John








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Copyright The Gazette 2002