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It’s About Time

Country vet rocks out, waves guns around, incites snoozes

Hank Williams, Jr.

ALPHARETTA, GA - JUNE 21: Hank Williams, Jr. performs at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on June 21, 2013 in Alpharetta, Georgia. (Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Images)

Chris McKay/Getty

At 66, country music’s cranky uncle has been running a successful cottage industry in right-leaning, media-baiting outlaw posturing for decades. His latest showcases an admirably hot band (as he points out in multiple spoken-word asides), with guests including Eric Church – see the fiddle-spiked, gospel-tinged take on Neil Young’s “Are You Ready for the Country?” But the party gets weird around “God and Guns,” a hard-rock NRA hand job that’s meatheaded and inflammatory. Elsewhere, attempts at pop coalition-building become wishful thinking. “If you’re singin’ along with this song, then I guess you agree,” Williams suggests on the nostalgic “Those Days Are Gone.” Not necessarily, dude.


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