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Hank 3 Live


by Johnny Hardcore

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Hank 3 Live at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA on 9/25/15

There was a barn-burning at The Observatory a couple of weeks ago as Hank 3 came to town. As you may or may not know Hank 3 is in fact Hank Williams Jr.'s son and of course the great Hank Williams' grandson. So that being said - There is huge pedigree involved here. As I ventured into The Observatory I was very unsure what to expect. I'd heard many great things about Hank 3 regarding his mostly critically acclaimed discography. I knew he had country roots like none other with an acoustic guitar in hand. But I was very unsure what to expect with the "Hellbilly" and Punk rock songs that I understood he was going to play. For those that don't know it Hank 3 is a "music machine". In the last year or so he has released 3 albums. (11 Full Albums since 1999) - One being Brothers of The 4x4 which is country music to the bone marrow and went up to #10 on the Billboard Top 100 Country Albums. The second he has released is an album called Fiendish Threat which he likes to call his "Hellbilly" album. He most definitely gets a lot more edgy on that record.. But the piest de' resistance is the Punk rock album he did called 3 Bar Ranch…He tells us, "he will do that album live as long as his voice lets him."

When Hank 3 hits the stage he tears right into his country set. Hold on to your hats though because this is only the beginning of 3 different sets totaling 4 hours straight of non-stop Hank 3. As I mentioned earlier, "A music machine" He played all of the favorite country hits, "Straight To Hell," "Mississippi Mud," "Ghost To A Ghost," "Held up, "and a Hank Williams Sr. tune called "If The Shoe Fits", plus another 20-25 songs at least. He just keeps going, and at an almost unbelievable pace. No Breaks.
Now he might have taken a 5 or 10 minute break before he went into his hour and a half set of his Fiendish Threat material…But if he did, I for sure missed it as it seemed like it was a seamless transition into dirty guitars and "hillbilly" grit. Letting loose with songs like "Can I Rip You," "Breakin' Free" and "Full On." And also I wanted to point out that he gets that crowd going. I don't think I have taken a better, more satisfying beer shower than the one I got this and the following set with punk rock material from the 3 Bar Ranch - Cattle Callin' album, which he starts after an hour and a half of his "Hellbilly" set.

When you see that he breaks out the Gibson SG with The Misfits sticker on it. And if you aren't in the mood to get sweaty, bump into people, get into the mosh pit or any of that…get to the back of the club fast. Because he sounds like he is going set the entire place on fire with the screams of that beautiful guitar. Wow…he is maybe the ultimate American punk rocker / renegade hombre. He blisters the place for a 30 minute set to close a four hour show. Doing ripping songs such as "Angus of Death," "Lot 53" and "Branded." Just amazing that I was seeing was a descendant of the original cowboy, Hank Williams.

The night I was privileged to see Hank 3 at The Observatory, September 25, 2014, I had never seen the place so packed… Packed to the gills and then some. The crowd was awesome and for the most part very congenial. Lots of beer, lots of trucker hats, lots of beards and a crap load of a really good time. From what it looks like I caught one of the very last few shows on this mini-tour he just completed. But go to his webpage and dig a little deeper into Hank 3. I feel like he is a little American secret that I would love to help become an American Icon for the present. Lord knows…I think America could use a renegade hero more than ever right now. I have had an opportunity to speak with him about 3 weeks ago and may I say, "A very gentle-man". So that being said I am being given the opportunity to speak with him on a more personal level later in this month of Rocktober. So keep an eye out for that and remember…………..Rock n Roll is like a cockroach…you can put it in the microwave for 10 minutes and will never die.

Check out his official site here.

Hank 3 Live

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