Hank Williams Jr. Interview: 'Old School, New Rules' Offers No Apologies
While many listeners will be drawn to the more politically-charged songs Hank Williams Jr. delivers on his new album Old School, New Rules, that could mean missing out on some of the coolest and most important tunes on the lyrically and musically diverse project.
"Old School," for instance, tells Hank Jr.'s history and helps fans old and new put into perspective how a young man living in the home of the legendary Hank Williams grew up. When he sings, "I remember a young Johnny Cash waiting in the wings, 'cause he'd hand me his cigarette when he'd go out to sing," there are few in Nashville who can deliver that line with the ring of truth Bocephus can.
Later in the same song, when he mentions Dolly Parton, Hank also speaks from experience. He recalls meeting her when she was just a teenager first coming to Nashville.
"I remember how people were falling all over themselves to meet her," Hank Jr. tells The Boot. "I'm playing four or five instruments on there, and that's real special to me, too, just like when I was a teenager at Overton High School doing my Rockin' Randall thing. People don't realize that little Rockin' Randall used to step on his Boswell Harley Davidson at 2131 Elm Hill Pike and ride over to Earl Scruggs' house for is banjo lessons, and then go over to Johnny's and talk Civil War history. The bottom line is, between Sonny Osborne and Earl Scruggs, I better know how to play banjo. I had the greatest teachers in the world."
Another unique advantage Hank Jr. had was witnessing the steady stream of famous friends who would visit the Williams' home.
"I never knew who was going to show up," he notes.