Hank Williams Jr. is a man who asks all the right questions.
Until recently, every Monday night he would inquire about my readiness to watch football. I always gave him the courtesy of contemplating the question–looking deep into my heart–before I answered. Sometimes I was ready, sometimes I was not. But I always appreciated him asking me. Now he’s got a new question and I’m sorry Mr. Cephus; I don’t think you’re going to like my answer.
In his interview with Associated Press, good ol’ Bocephus grumbled and snorted some gems like, “I’m what you call a motivated icon, and you can tell it on this album” and “My chains are gone.”
Like his new single, “Are You Ready For The Country,” those quotes completely lack any trace of meaningful substance. He is an icon and he does seem motivated but the only things that I’ve learned from the single are the name Eric Church and the fact that I don’t give a shit about any of this—including Eric Church. As for the “chains” quote, it must have something to do with his contract at Blaster ending and his being signed to Nash Icon. I think a better analogy would be, “My chains were gone but now I have new chains that I’m going to complain about a month from now when the hype for my shopworn album drowns in that shallow kiddie pool that is pop-country.”
I almost forgot to review the song. It’s that good. “Are You Ready For The Country” is a cover. It wasn’t especially interesting when Neal Young wrote it and now that it’s been crucified by the over production of modern country, it’s lost the last of it’s homely, inner beauty. Another track mangled by the artificial sheen (which he also claims to detest) of pop-country.
I don’t mean to be cruel. The man is a country legend who was begat by a country legend and he, himself, begat a country (and metal/punk) legend. Hank Jr. ruled the pop country landscape in the 80’s, blasting out hits that can only be remembered when heavily boozed and for that, he should be cherished.
Mr. Cephus, my rowdy friends and I will always love you for what you were. I just pray that I don’t get an eye full of beechnut for writing this review.
Video courtesy of Big Machine Label Group. Hank Williams Jr.’s album, It’s About Time, is released on January 15 2016 via Nash Icon Records.