“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.
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“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.