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Hank Williams III

As the grandson of Hank Williams and the son of Hank Jr., Hank Williams III was country music royalty before he ever sang a note. But he didn't immediately follow his forebears musically, choosing instead to bang around the Southeast, playing drums in punk and hardcore combos and smoking prodigious amounts of weed before he began pursuing a career in country music. It was the outlaw spirit of his lineage, alive and unwell and floating in the bong water, and he earned a reputation as one of Nashville's biggest rebels, more than living up to his lineage.

Shelton Hank Williams III was born December 12, 1972, in Nashville, Tennessee. Williams lived the life of a nomadic punk rocker early on, but that changed when a court settlement decreed that Hank owned a large backlog of child support, and the judge instructed Hank to find more reliable employment. Circumstances forced Hank III onto to the straight and narrow, and in 1996 he signed a contract with Music City giant Curb. The label issued Three Hanks: Men with Broken Hearts, which brought the voices of all three generations of Williams men together via the ghastly miracles of modern technology. It was about as far from what Hank III wanted as he could get and signaled the beginning of his stormy relationship with Curb.

Williams was in a tight spot. While his name, face, and uncanny vocal resemblance to his grandfather almost guaranteed him a thriving country audience, he had no patience for Nashville's squareness and rigid control. Hank and his Damn Band could wow a crowd with a spot-on set of gorgeous country balladry and spirited honky tonk. But III could just as easily shift gears into screeching Black Flag-style punk rock with his hard-rocking combo Assjack. He was the kind of anomaly enormous record companies couldn't stand -- eminently marketable, yet defiantly unpredictable.

Curb issued Hank III's proper debut in September 1999. Entitled Risin' Outlaw, it presented 13 rough-hewn country numbers colored by III's honky tonking vocals. And while he played his share of "country" gigs to support it, Williams also appeared at the 2001 Vans Warped Tour alongside punks like Rancid. The irascible III also dismissed Outlaw as a label-controlled fiasco almost immediately after its release. After a few years of touring and trying like mad to be released from his Curb contract, III returned to wax in early 2002 with Lovesick, Broke & Driftin'. While Outlaw had featured material from outside writers, the new LP was all Hank III but for a previously released cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City." He also produced, recorded, and mixed it by his lonesome in just two weeks.

At this point, Hank III's relationship with Curb became even more strained. The label refused to release his appropriately named This Ain't Country LP, which featured songs like "Life of Sin" and "Hellbilly." At the same time, Curb refused to grant Hank III the rights to issue it on his own. He and the record company reached an impasse, which III only exacerbated with the "F*** Curb" T-shirts he sold through his thriving website. Thrown Out of the Bar, his third honky tonk album, was scheduled for release in 2003, as was the long-awaited This Ain't Country. Additionally, Hank III issued extremely limited-edition releases through his website (often in quantities of 100 or less) and continued to play bass in Superjoint Ritual, the brutal side project of Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo.

The double-disc Straight to Hell was released in March 2006 on Bruc Records (Curb's attempt to disguise their participation in the album). The first CD contained songs with elements of traditional country warped to fit Hank III's rebel attitude, while the second disc boasted only one song that featured just III, his guitar, ambient noises, and a slight story that those coming down from drugs might enjoy. Ever in the outlaw mode, Hank III released Damn Right, Rebel Proud in 2008. His fourth and supposedly final album for Curb, The Rebel Within, followed in the spring of 2010. And in a move that hardly pleased Hank III, Curb next repackaged This Ain't Country, the oft-bootlegged project that started the acrimony between III and the label in the first place, with additional unreleased material thrown in, as Hillbilly Joker in 2011.

In the fall of 2011, Williams announced he was forming his own label, Hank3 Records, and launched the imprint with three albums released at the same time: A Ghost to a Ghost/Guttertown, a two-disc set of raw country tunes; a doom metal set called Attention Deficit Domination; and Cattle Callin, credited to 3 Bar Ranch, which married recordings of cattle auctioneers with speed metal tracks. III was still touring in support of his new albums when Curb managed to get an eighth album out of a lapsed six-album contract by releasing another set of previously unreleased material, Long Gone Daddy (mostly outtakes from 1999's Risin' Outlaw and 2002's Lovesick, Broke & Driftin') in the spring of 2012. In October 2013, Hank III released another pair of albums through his own label, the two-disc country album Brothers of the 4X4, alongside the hardcore cowpunk release A Fiendish Threat. And the spring of 2014 brought yet another reason for Hank III to never send Curb a Christmas card: Ramblin' Man, a 27-minute album largely comprised of material III recorded for various tribute albums. ~ Johnny Loftus & Steve Leggett, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

I've got drink and smoke. Go the3rd
I'm low down. need a good big trank dart to put me out!
Look love him or hate him! He tells how it is.. no s**t I'm a damn true hillbilly!! All I see is hills!
Take it back sry yall THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN YYYEEEEEHHHH H H A A A A A W W W W W
This is by far the worst out of the hank Williams generation this f**ker should be ashamed his grandfather would be ashamed screw him
Does he read this
Yes that damn paintcreek crippile. Is my favorite strain. yes its bout crop time.I'm a drunk a a drug addict!! To.
tdern63
I love Hank III!! A big ol' yeeehaaaa!!! !
F**k the critics, his voice is one of a ninja. When you think his granddaddy's voice carries on, then you hear a more universal declaration of his roots that really carry on the whole Williams namesake. HELL YEAH!
If you don't like hank 3 f**k you!!!
putting the dick in dixie....
Just glad hank 3 saved country western music Ramblin' man & Ghost to a ghost best albums in my op
This is the best country music I've ever heard. Pittsburgh out....
Loved this documentary on the whites of west Virginia great sound track
F**k Curb for holding the man back. Texas loves ya Hank
Reinstate Hank
I love you Hank\,,/(>_< ) \ , , /
I know the Hanks done it this way. I'm living proof....
Shelton ... WILD...Do l know you? I have been listening to your station for days in a daze. Shocked, You are the best . I mean it . You follow in some good foot steps.I would love to see the family again and again :) pass this on. Toot Toot...Hi, how are you?
getlost34
3 is the best there is in this age. F**k all that pop country bullshit like Kenney Chesney. What a f*g. Smoke dope mother f**kers
i take hank III over any s**t on the radio that they call real country
Wish I could hang out with him for 24 hours! Lol
Crazed country rebel on boone moonshine doing family legacy proud
I really like Hank 3...great voice and music! He should be more famous...the crap country that's popular is ridiculous! I heard a rap country song the other day and I wanted to punch someone.
tommytitanfa n
Hank III rules! Cooler than cool and a nice dude too! met him several times here in Nashville TN.
Yeah buddy hank to the 3
garammasala1 9 6 8
@cmericle14 You must have identity issues with who u r to assume everyone commenting is a gay man because they don't agree with you. I'm not even a guy so joke's on u! Typical bigot.
WALKIN THAT LOW ROAD AND THE HIGH WITH HANK SAVED MY LIFE MORE N ONCE
@garammasala 1 9 6 8 - Obviously you don't know anything about Hank III. Go listen to luke bryan you f**got.
Hank III is hands down the best of his bloodline. Outlaw raising hell and making it fun and toe tappin
Anybody who thinks this guy is riding on his 'name' doesn't have a clue. If I heard him and his name was Hank Jones III I'd still like him, buy his music, and go see him. This guy is the real deal which means he will never be as popular as the 'pop' country pretty-boys which is just fine with me though I hope he's successful enough to keep going. Outlaw to the bone.
He's for real a true entertainer, anyone who has seen Hanklll live they know
All the Hanks are ledgendary
garammasala1 9 6 8
Another "artist" living off his name only
He's f**king awesome I'm from south Texas and this is the best Damn country music in this piece of s**t modern pop country they have now days, ,keep it f**king real hank 3,,,,outlaw country forever. .......
The unstoppable force of truth. #hank3
wheres bros of the 4x4????
HANK 3 MOTHERFVCKER S - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4 2 0
7 long months 39,days to change my life around
ya think its crazy how much he sounds like Sr...then you see a pic and you get shivers down yer spine cuz he looks like a spittin image of granddad...H 3 effin killz it w/ a skillit...no one i can recall even comes close; so innovative, yet still true to the traditional form.
@ hater radio..WTF are u talking about?!? Did u not read my comment?...I ' v e actually partied with Hank on 3 occasions... y o u r post makes zero sense
check out the movie The wonderful whites of west verginia hank does the soundtrack and has a small part in it .. its about the d ray white family
hank III rocks!!!!!! way better than chrisin8019
He makes most of today's popular country music sound like exactly what it is ...garbage
I love this guy...he is GOOD!!!!
thanks to Sirius radio Outlaw Country I can listen to all of III's music gotta luv it keep it crankin
putting the dick in dixi and the c**t back back in contry
One of the only true country artists left! Rebel pride
This guy is a true artist rarely found! Totally under the radar .
Straight to Hell is 1 of the best country albums ever made....u don't have to skip a single track
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