Robert ‘Hank’ Ackerman likes Hank Williams Jr.’s new album. The album is getting a lot of positive reviews from the critics. Ackerman says the songs referring to Hank Sr. are particularly strong.
I think the latest Hank Jr CD, titled “127 Rose Avenue” is one I will listen to a lot…. it has a great selection and variety of songs and there is a whole lot of Hank (Sr) in this one. This CD, for my taste and in my opinion, reminds me of some of the older Hank Jr music … of course the title song relates to his Daddy’s Boyhood Home in Georgiana, Alabama, and there is a track titled “Last Driftin’ Cowboy” that is a wonderful tribute to the late Don Helms. (And if you like “country blues” you will love Hank Jr’s latest version of “Long Gone Lonesome Blues”). This is a keeper for sure.
In the prestigious New York Times, Ben Ratliff writes a fairly long but somewhat mixed review. He thinks the recession based political songs on the album are a bit “heavy handed” and overdone. But, like Ackerman he likes the songs reflecting on the Hank Williams era.
A pair of tracks in the middle of the record meditate on his father, and typically they represent the album’s conceptual high point. “Last Driftin’ Cowboy” is a two-parter: first the song talks in the posthumous voice of Don Helms, the steel-guitar player for Hank Williams Sr.’s band, who says that Hank Sr. was not a sad man; he knew how to have fun. Then it slows down to lament Helms’s death. And in the title song — the street address of Hank Sr.’s boyhood home in Georgiana, Ala. — a visitor conjures the spirit of his father. It’s hokey, but kind of real: there is a museum there, after all.
I was a really big Hank Jr fan in the early years and had a collection of 5 or 6 vinyl albums from the 70′s and 80′s. I may have one cassette but no CD’s, so I guess that tells you when I lost interest. The guns, survival, football, and political stuff sort of lost me. I’m looking forward to this album with real working class and Hank Sr themes.
It is being reviewed all over, so a Goggle search will yield lots of information.