Hank III, & Assjack
Hellraisin' runs in alt-country badass Hank Williams III's family. His granddad, the patron saint of country music, was a serious drinker and drugger who checked out in the backseat of a Caddy on the way to a gig on New Year's Eve 1953, and his daddy, who in his prime combined raucous honky-tonk and southern rock, struggled with drug and alcohol abuse in the '70s and even tried to kill himself in 1974. With that Williams DNA, it's no surprise that Hank III is his own man, fighting with his record label, Curb (his acoustic guitar is emblazoned with a "Fuck Curb" sticker), over his musical direction in contemporary Nashville. Or that he's an outspoken advocate for the kind bud. A former punk rock drummer, Hank III turned to country to capitalize on the family name after getting himself into a paternity jam. He signed with Curb, who also sought to cash in on the kid's bloodlines, but instead of getting another Tim McGraw, Curb got a hardcore honky-tonker whose visage and voice both recall his godlike grandfather and an outspoken kid with a "Fuck Nashville" attitude. Over the course of four albums, including his latest disc, Damn Right, Rebel Proud, III has established himself as one of the finest honky-tonkers of his generation, offering up a "three chords and a cloud of dust" approach to country in the face of the genre's contemporary pop sheen. Just like his granddaddy and his daddy before him, you can't tell III what to do or what to sound like, and that's a good thing for fans of straight-ahead, old-school country music. After his honky-tonk set at the Marquee, stick around for Assjack, Hank III's metal band, where the kid literally lets his hair down.
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