Hank III and Assjack

There are three sides to Hank III: Risin' Outlaw, hellbilly deluxe and black-metal Neanderthal. Each one gets equally represented at his near three-hour live shows — often in that order — with only a brief intermission and wardrobe change to signal the transition. Hank III is clearly a man of extremes (he once played bass for Superjoint Ritual), but his fourth LP and first since leaving Curb Records, Damn Right Rebel Proud (Sidewalk Records), is his best balancing act to date, as evidenced by "3 Shades of Black." The album represents Hank III's version of the redneck manifesto, complete with GG Allin tribute "P.F.F." (Piss, Fight, Fuck) and timeless tirade "The Grand Ole Opry (Ain't So Grand)," that puts the cunt in country and gives Nashville the middle finger like Johnny Cash at San Quentin. While Rebel Proud still finds Hank III at times Lovesick, Broke, and Driftin', like his 2002 sophomore record, he now sounds much more comfortable and confident in that realm. "The fact is I work this road and break even to be able to live for about a month and a half and then have to do it all over again," Hank once said on his tour bus in Austin, as Attention Deficit Domination, his Eyehategod tribute band wherein he plays every instrument, blared in the background. "Twelve years' worth of touring in these boots, the duct tape and the holes, like a fucking rat, being the dancing outlaw...they know I'm still there stickin' it to 'em."


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