Hank Williams Jr. on Hank Sr., the Opry and 'Weird Pop Country'

"You gotta watch out for a motivated icon," boasts Bocephus of his sterling new LP 'It's About Time'

Hank Williams Jr. on Hank Sr., the Opry and 'Weird Pop Country'

"I've got a bunch of platinum on the wall. . . but this is the best one I've ever put together," says Hank Williams Jr. of his new album, It's About Time, out today. "This is a real special one, folks, believe me."

A mix of swagger ("Dress Like an Icon") and surprise humility ("Just Call Me Hank"), It's About Time is the follow-up to 2012's Old School New Rules and backs up Williams' boasts. With many songs recorded live, there's an undeniable energy to the record. There's also some thumb-his-nose-at-the-establishment risks, like the almost seven-minute gospel-blues number "Wrapped Up, Tangled Up in Jesus (God's Got It)."

In the album's title track, Williams takes a shot at today's ultra-slick pop-country. "Weird pop-country sound. . . I didn't know any other way to put it," he says matter-of-factly. But "It's About Time" also includes a dose of poignancy, as Williams recalls memories of his mother, Audrey.

"I'm talking about looking at my mother's drawings of stickmen in Alabama sand banks. You don't make that stuff up. That's in that song, [as is] going down the Hank Williams Lost Highway. But certainly the song is not about nostalgia at all," he says, explaining its long-gestating origin. "I've been carrying it around in my briefcase. [Songs] have to birthed, you know?"

Williams will promote It's About Time with a performance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on Monday, January 18th.