Fred’s Country Fried Rock: Hank Williams III, “Thrown Out of the Bar” (2006)

Share this:

If there’s a poster child for the underground country movement, it’s Hank III. If you want to talk about a guy that does what he feels, no matter what it is, here’s your guy.

You’d think just having the name Hank Williams would ensure you a successful and lucrative country music career, and it probably would have if he’d played the game. But III has always had a hard time doing that. He’s feuded with his record label since the beginning of a contract that he was forced to sign in a child-support suit and he’s thumbed his nose at the industry ever since, attacking the establishment in songs like “Trashville,” “Dick in Dixie” and “The Grand Ole Opry (Ain’t So Grand Anymore).”

Whether it’s traditional country in the style of his grandfather, screaming extreme metal, Cajun music, psychobilly, doom rock or blending thrash with cattle calling, if he feels it in his gut, he’s going to do it — whether the label will release it or not. That was the case with 2006’s Straight to Hell. It’s considered by most fans, myself included, III’s finest moment, but it took a lawsuit for Curb Records to release it.

The album was recorded in a bedroom on a shoestring budget, with III and his band having complete control of the music, and it sounds just as good as anything from a Nashville studio. It also has the distinction of being the first country music release to receive a parental advisory sticker, but the music is much stronger than the language and the themes.

“Thrown Out of the Bar” isn’t III’s best song. Heck, it’s not even the best song on Straight to Hell, but I’ve always loved it. It’s just a great, swinging, honky tonk kind of song, and it puts a big smile on my face every time I hear it. There’s a little name-dropping, some hot fiddle and steel guitar, and a lot of fun. Sometimes that’s all you need in a song.

Don’t neglect the rest of the record, as darker numbers like “Country Heroes” and “D Ray White” are outstanding, and there isn’t really a weak link from beginning to end. But if you’re getting ready to go bar-hopping, this is the tune you want.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B0011W8UC6″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B005BSCP6I” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000AGTQGS” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00767FAJ6″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B005BSCQT4″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips is a veteran entertainment writer with a love of hard rock and heavy metal. He has written music reviews, columns and feature stories for several newspapers, Web sites and a national wire service, while running a stand-alone site called Hall of the Mountain King in various places and incarnations since 1997. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Fred Phillips

Latest posts by Fred Phillips (see all)

Share this:
Close