Hank Williams III
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Hank Williams III
Williams performing at Roskilde Festival 2012.
|Birth name||Shelton Hank Williams|
|Also known as||Hank 3|
|Born||December 12, 1972|
Shelton Hank Williams (born December 12, 1972), known as Hank Williams III and Hank 3, is an American musician, singer and multi-instrumentalist, known for his dark style of country music. However, his musical style alternates between country, punk rock and metal. He is the principal member of the punk metal band Assjack, the drummer for the Southern hardcore punk band Arson Anthem, and was the bassist for Pantera singer Phil Anselmo's band Superjoint Ritual. He has released eleven studio albums, including five for Curb Records. Williams is the grandson of Hank Williams, the son of Hank Williams Jr., and the half-brother of Holly Williams.
Williams spent much of his early career playing drums in punk rock bands during the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s. He signed a contract with Nashville, Tennessee, music industry giant Curb Records. Three Hanks: Men with Broken Hearts was issued shortly thereafter, which spliced together recordings to make it seem that three generations of Williams men were singing alongside one another. In the late 1980s, upon first meeting Hank Williams III, Minnie Pearl, a friend of the late Hank Williams Sr., reportedly said "Lord, honey, you're a ghost", as she was astonished by his striking resemblance to his grandfather.
Risin' Outlaw and contract issues (1999–2004)
Williams' live shows typically follow a Jekyll and Hyde format: a country music set featuring fiddle player David McElfresh and steel guitar player Dan Johnson, followed by a hellbilly set, and then an Assjack set. He plays both the country and the psychobilly with his "The Damn Band". Assjack produces a very different sound than either, mixing metalcore, psychobilly, and hardcore punk.
The lineup for Assjack includes the addition of supplemental vocalist Gary Lindsey and the departure of his fiddle and steel guitar players. McElfresh's predecessor was fellow-fiddle-player Michael "Fiddleboy" McCanless, who would play all three sets, adding traditional violin for the country set of the concert before turning on different effect pedals for later sets. Fiddleboy died on February 1, 2003. Another former band member was guitarist Duane Denison, previously with The Jesus Lizard, who left The Damn Band and Assjack in January 2001 and later that year formed Tomahawk.
Thrown out of the Bar and Straight to Hell (2004–06)
In late 2004 Thrown Out of the Bar was slated for release, but Curb Records opted not to issue it. Bar was reworked into Straight to Hell, released on Curb’s rock imprint, Bruc. Battles with Wal-Mart delayed the appearance of this album, which was released on February 28, 2006 as a two-disc set in two formats: a censored version (for Wal-Mart), and an uncensored version that was the first major-label country album ever to bear a parental advisory warning. Straight to Hell was also the first release through Curb's Bruc Records imprint. However, the uncensored version was released through Bruc, and the clean version was released through Curb. One of the songs, "Pills I Took", was written by a little-known Wisconsin group called Those Poor Bastards, who originally released the song on their 2004 CD Country Bullshit.
Independent releases (2007–present)
Williams released his long-awaited punk-metal album Assjack on August 4, 2009.
Curb Records released This Ain't Country under the title Hillbilly Joker on May 17, 2011 without the consent or input from Williams after his contract with the label had been terminated. Williams told his fans, "Don’t buy it, but get it some other way and burn the hell out of it and give it to everyone."
On June 23, 2011, it was revealed through Williams' personal Facebook that he would be releasing four new CDs on September 6, 2011. It said to expect country, doom-rock, and speed metal with cattle callin' on the releases. Entitled Ghost to a Ghost/Gutter Town (a 2 disc country record), 3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin' (a metal record in the newly anointed cattle core genre) and Attention Deficit Domination (a doom-rock record), these new albums were released on Williams's own record label Hank3 Records through Megaforce Records, and feature guest appearances by Tom Waits, Les Claypool (Primus), Alan King (Hellstomper), Ray Lawrence Jr., Troy Medlin (Sourvein), Dave Sherman (Earthride) and Williams' dog, Trooper.
On April 17, 2012, Curb released a Williams album titled Long Gone Daddy, marking the second album the company has released under his name since his departure. On March 4, 2013, On Williams's web site, it was announced that he is working on two new albums. It has been confirmed that there are at least 25 new songs. On May 3, 2013, Williams released the names of two new albums: a country album Brothers of the 4×4 and punk album A Fiendish Threat, under the band name "3".
On January 1, 2014 it was announced that Williams was working on a new side project as well as the release of two new videos; one for Brothers of the 4x4, the other for A Fiendish Threat. The albums were released in the Fall of 2013.
In April 2014, Curb Records released a new album under Hank Williams III's name titled Ramblin' Man. The album contains previously unreleased material that Williams recorded while on their label.
Curb released another Williams album of previously unreleased songs titled Take As Needed For Pain in April 2015. The album is mostly a rock album but the single released was a country song titled "Ruby Get Back To The Hills".
On August 18, 2017, Curb released a Greatest Hits album featuring select tracks from Williams' first four albums, mostly from Straight to Hell.
- Studio albums
- Risin' Outlaw (1999)
- Lovesick, Broke and Driftin' (2002)
- Straight to Hell (2006)
- Damn Right, Rebel Proud (2008)
- Rebel Within (2010)
- Hillbilly Joker (2011)
- Ghost to a Ghost/Gutter Town (Hank3 Records, 2011)
- 3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin' (Hank3 Records, 2011)
- Attention Deficit Domination (Hank3 Records, 2011)
- Brothers of the 4×4 (Hank3 Records, 2013)
- A Fiendish Threat (Hank3 Records, 2013)
- "The official website". Hank3. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- Harris, Will. "A chat with Hank Williams III, Hank Williams III interview, Damn Right Rebel Proud, Tyler Torreance was his manager". Bullz-eye.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- "Metal News – Superjoint Ritual Is No More". Metalunderground.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
-  Archived December 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- "Hank III in Billboard Top 10 For All The Wrong Reasons". Savingcountrymusic.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- "Hank 3". Facebook. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- "The Official Website". Hank3. Archived from the original on October 9, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 9, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)