As illustrated by Long Gone Daddy
, Curb's new career-spanning sampler of Hank III songs, this third generation Hank has never veered from being fiercely independent while staying true in spirit to the path blazed by his family. "Tidy" is not a word often associated with the against-the-grain work of Hank III, but it s a fitting way to describe the way Long Gone Daddy
packages up a full-bodied sampling of his career, style and influences. This 10-song collection could have been titled Long Gone Granddaddy
for the shuffling country blues flavor of not just the Hank Williams covers but of much of the batch. Grandpa s contributions, title track "I m A Long Gone Daddy" and "Neath A Cold Gray Tomb of Stone," are complemented by fiddle and steel-drenched songs written by generations he influenced, including Merle Haggard ("The Bottle Let Me Down"), Johnny Cash ("Wreck of the Old 97") and Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson ("Good Hearted Woman"). The singer-songwriter Hank Williams influenced most, on this record at least, is Hank III, whose remarkable vocal, including yodeling sendoff on the title track, would have been just right on a circa 1950 Grand Ole Opry or Louisiana Hayride stage. A collection of six previously unreleased recordings and four resurrected from prior releases, the album is an exclamation point on the style and mood of Hank III s 1999 Risin Outlaw
breakthrough and acclaimed follow-up Lovesick Broke & Driftin
. As "This Ain t Montgomery," a lament of the state of modern country, states: "Hank Williams is dead and he ain t comin back here again." True, of course. But he d be proud of his grandson.