Hank Williams Jr. Breaks Down What the Blues Means to Him as He Reflects on New Album’s Release

by Jonathan Howard

Today was a big day for Hank Williams Jr. as he dropped another brand new studio album. Rich White Honky Blues is the latest from the country music legend. This week on our Outsider-Approved New Albums, we mentioned the album as one on our list. For fans old and new, this is a return to his roots. And, it felt like he had fun making the music, something that hasn’t always been so apparent.

As the title of the album may suggest, this is a very self-aware album. A lot of times, artists can get lost in the industry and they still act like they are living in a trailer park in their music. However, the honest approach that comes from Williams is something that country music fans are always dying for. Authenticity.

Check out the post from Hank Williams Jr.’s Instagram and see his message for yourself. His passion for the blues has always been clear, but it’s all on display in this one. It’s vulgar at times, it can be “distasteful” to some – it’s all Hank Jr. though. And that’s all you can ask from the man.

“The blues is where it all comes from. It’s the start of everything musical in my family; everything starts with Tee-Tot and flows from there. I’ve always flirted with this stripped back blues – all the way back to the ’80s. But I finally made an album that’s just that, and I like it,” the post quotes Williams as saying.

The lead single, “Jesus, Won’t You Come By Here,” has been making the rounds. In the wake of the death of his wife, Mary Jane Thomas, the singer’s blues album feels all the more poignant.

Hank Williams Jr. Drops First Album in Six Years

What is really great about the new album is that this is Hank Williams Jr.’s first album in six years. 2016 was the last time we saw a studio project from the legendary singer. He’s had a career that has gone from prolific at times in quantity to more spaced-out projects. This one was full of quality.

What Williams brings to the blues is a little bit of red. His anger at times comes across in the songs and it’s more than just sadness in those lyrics. Which, is still part of singing the blues. Embracing all of your emotions and thoughts and feelings on a subject, and being honest with it the whole time.

More importantly, I think, this just felt like a Hank Williams Jr. album. From the first track to the last it’s pure Bocephus and he’s unapologetic just as he has been at all times, but especially when making exceptional music.