Hank Williams III’s 2006 album Straight to Hell was one of the best country albums of the Aughts, an aggressive, defiantly country record, propelled by the grandson of Hank Williams’ punk sneer and reckless playing. “Country Heroes” was the centerpiece, a woozy, boozy ballad about finding solace in both the bottle and the songs of Jones, Coe, Haggard, Jennings, Cash and, of course, Williams.
For metal band DevilDriver’s upcoming Outlaws ‘Til the End: Vol. 1 project, a collection of reworked outlaw country songs, Hank 3 recasts “Country Heroes” as an intense headbanger. DevilDriver frontman Dez Fafara growls and screams his way through the lyrics, while Hank 3 provides a cleaner, sharp counter vocal that Fafara describes as “Ozzy-ish.”
“This record would not have meant as much to me without having Hank 3 on board,” says Fafara. “He is one of the most authentic and real Outlaw country artists out there right now. I chose to record ‘Country Heroes’ because the lyrics are extremely well-written, and using the names of all the outlaws within the song really does the song justice.”
Outlaws ‘Til the End: Vol. 1 also includes guest appearances from Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe, Fear’s Lee Ving and John Carter Cash. Among the songs given the metal treatment are Johnny Paycheck’s “I’m the Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised),” Dwight Yoakam’s “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere” and Johnny Cash’s “The Man Comes Around.” The LP is due July 6th via Napalm Records.
The song marks a rare recorded appearance by Hank 3, who hasn’t released an album since 2013.