HANK III : Ghost To A Ghost / Guttertown
With his own new label, Hank3 Records, and the sense that he has thrown off the chains holding him back creatively, Shelton Hank Williams III, aka Hank III, is coming out swinging in 2011 with the release of four records.
Ghost to a Ghost/Gutter Town, a double-album set, is a straight-shooting country collection, flavored with Hank III's trademark hellbilly sound, and heavily weighted with Cajun influence (especially on Gutter Town) and an ambient, lonesome mood, and a few very special guests.
All three projects were recorded at The Haunted Ranch, Hank III's home and studio that lies on the outskirts of Nashville, a fitting place since the town has never really known what to do with this grandson of the American icon.
He finally parted ways with Curb Records January 1. "I have musical freedom. I'm able to say 'Here's my record' and I don't have to go through a million different channels just to put out a song," he says. "It's all me now."
Hank III wrote the lion's share of the songs that appear on Ghost to a Ghost/Gutter Town.
The players are Andy Gibson on steel guitar and banjo, who also aided in its recording, David McElfresh Zach Shedd on standup bass, Daniel Mason on banjo, super-picker Johnny Hiland on guitar, Billy Contreras on fiddle, and Rory Hoffman on accordian.
Guest appearances include the mythical Tom Waits on the haunted "Fadin Moon" from Gutter Town and on the Ghost to a Ghost title track, Alan King of Hellstomper, Les Claypool of Primus fame, Dave Sherman, Troy Medlin and Hank III's dog Trooper.
Cuts such as "Gutter Town," "Ridin The Wave" and "The Devil's Movin In" on Ghost to a Ghost and "Goin to Gutter Town," "The Low Line" and "I'll Save My Tears" on Gutter Town highlight both the excellent musicianship on the records, and Hank III's unmistakable, confident vocals.
The release of all three projects represents a new birth for Hank III, and he's happy to have the chance. "Megaforce Records has helped me with my vision to do something that never been done before," he says.
"They're handling my distribution, and I wanted to flood the market and do everything different. I wanted to come out of the gate strong. I'm opening up the mind a little bit and bringing some different styles together."
CD 1: Ghost to a Ghost
02.Day By Day
03.Ridin The Wave
04.Don't Ya Wanna
05.Ray Lawrence Jr.
06.The Devils Movin In
07.Time To Die
10.**** of a Bitch
11.Ghost to a Ghost
CD2: Gutter Town
01.Goin to Gutter Town
03.The Dirt Road
05.The Dream of Before
08.Chord of the Organ
09.Move Them Songs
10.The Low Line
11.I’ll Be Gone
17.I’ll Save My Tears
18.It’s Goin Down
19.With the Ship