Some folks follow in their family’s footsteps, and some use their family’s trailblazing legacy as a springboard for a rebellious career that’s way more devious than any one could expect.
Such is the case for punkabilly hell raiser Hank 3, who returns to Emo’s East this Saturday for his first rowdy show in the club’s more polished Eastside digs.
He walks the line between traditional country and pure punk rock, blending classic country instrumentation and melodies with metal-esque vocals, whiskey-soaked lyrics and unruly live shows.
Born into a legendary family of performers, Shelton Hank Williams is the son of Hank Williams, Jr. and grandson of country star Hank Williams who — in his short 29 years — recorded 11 chart-topping tunes. Like his father, Hank 3 has staked his claim in the family business of music, taking it one step further with a blend of music that is just as dirty punk as it is conventional country.
The 39-year-old rocker bears an uncanny resemblance to Hank Sr. — especially when dressed in a western shirt and cowboy hat — but remove the formal attire, and you’ll find a tattooed, self-proclaimed “crazed country rebel.” The same punk-in-cowboy’s-clothing idiom is true for Hank 3’s music.
He walks the line between traditional country and pure punk rock, blending classic country instrumentation and melodies with metal-esque vocals, whiskey-soaked lyrics and unruly live shows. A one-man crusade against Nashville commercialism, modern pop country is a constant target of his records and live shows.
"Trashville" (Going Back to Texas) is all anti-execs and pro-Texas roots: “Well, I used to think that country/ Was out of Nashville, Tennessee/ I'd rather take my things and/ Go back to Texas ya see.” So is “Dick in Dixie”… just let your mind wonder on those lyrics.
While he’s covered country standards — like a speedy take on “Cocaine Blues” — Hank 3 stands apart with his fusion tunes — like “Rebel Within” — that are, in actuality, hardcore punk songs bathed in country undertones. His live shows are just as unexpected and hardcore as his songs: half country, half punk, full of a hell raising crowd.
If you’re looking for some hot summer hell raising, head east on Saturday night, grab yourself a stout whiskey and settle in for a night with a new "Family Tradition."