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Hank Williams III

Lovesick, Broke & Driftin' – 2002 (Curb)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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CDs by Hank Williams III

When Hank Williams III wasn't happy with his first Curb album, he sent a verbal middle finger to his record label by disparaging the album in interviews. The result? Williams got to co-produce his second Curb record and wrote 12 of its 13 songs. And this time around, he has delivered a masterful album, full of sad, acoustic country-blues songs.

Many of the songs here tread the ground summarized by the album's title, depicting the hard life that Williams leads. The best is "Whiskey, Weed & Women," in which a lyric of loneliness and suicidal thoughts is set to a gorgeous weeping steel guitar. In the album's opener, "7 Months, 39 Days," the singer re-enters society after a jail term. "I got an eighteen wheeler and a worn-out dog and I ain't got nothin' to say to the law."

Whether yodeling about a lost love on "Walkin' With Sorrow" or asking for God's help on "Callin' Your Name," Hank III's aching, plaintive voice is eerily reminiscent of Hank Sr. And that's one of the highest compliments that can be paid to a real country singer.