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reports and thoughts on legal issues, music, Orthodox Christianity and/or whatever else strikes my interest

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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Friday, March 24, 2006

Hank III

Photo from www.hank3.com/

First off, just a warning that some of the links in this post are going to be to "R Rated" sites. Sorry there is just no other way to do a post on Hank III.

"I like Hank Sr. and I like Hank Jr. But I like Hank III better than both of them."-David Allan Coe, True Outlaw and Country Music legend (quote from www.hank3.com/).

A few weeks ago I went with a buddy of mine to see Hank III (you can see Hank's official website here and a somewhat "cleaner" wikipedia entry here) who was playing over at the Meridian.

I have to admit up front that I am not a real big fan of Hank's music (though it has been growing on me) but was interested enough to go check out a live show.

The show was at the Meridian which is a relatively new concert venue in Houston. I was not really aware of this subgenre but there are apparently a lot of "Cowpunks/Hellbillys/Southern Goths" who are really into Hank III and showed up in large numbers for the show.

I can't find a link that adequately describes this phenomenon. It's like the kids who grew up in small rural towns over the last twenty years or so grew up listening to both country music and metal and punk bands. Now imagine a music style that is influenced by both oldschool honky-tonk country and punk and you will start to get the idea.
It was an interesting night to people watch for sure! I did not realize that there are people out there who actually still drink Lone Star! I also learned that it is considered a sign of respect for the performer if you hurl Lone Star or Shiner cans at the stage while he is performing. This was also the first time I have ever seen a mosh-pit at a country show!

Hank III put on a very entertaining concert and it was definitely worth seeing. His live show is much better than his recordings...IMHO. I still have mixed feelings about Hank's music over all though.

I think he has some real musical talent. His voice has an uncanny similarity to the voice of his grandfather at times. His first two cds demonstrate this pretty well.

Still it gets pretty repetitive when almost every song he records or performs is a variant on the same "ass-kicking/drug taking/hard drinking/hell-raising/woman chasing" theme. It just gets old after awhile when that's almost all there is.

I have to wonder how much of it is just "schtick" to sell records and how much of it is his actual lifestyle and personality.

The other frustrating thing to me is that when he does branch out musically it is into a hardcore punk direction that I just can't get into. I actually admire him if that is really the direction that he is interested in and wants to pursue. It's just not palatable to me and I doubt it is going to sell him many records.

Fortunately at his live shows he begins with an extended country set that gets progessively wilder but then takes a break before the punk set. He always tells (warns) the audience what to expect from the second set.

I decided to leave after the first set which was really a great performance of both oldschool and newly written "honky-tonk" music. Some of the high points of the country set were his performances of Cocaine Blues by Johnny Cash and David Allan Coe's You Never Even Call Me By My Name. He also did a really cool duet on Juke Joint Jumpin' with Wayne Hancock who is an interesting artist I will have to investigate more.


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