Hank Williams, Jr.'s new music takes on Obama

Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:13pm EDT
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE (Reuters) - Hank Williams, Jr. is a country singer, record executive and political pundit, and he wears all those hats on his new CD, "Old School, New Rules". He picks up on politics where he left off last year with some more fighting words for President Barack Obama.

Williams calls himself "an executive hillbilly," but he's more than that. The second son in a line of country stars - legend Hank Williams is his dad and country/punk/metal singer Hank III his son - Williams is known for such standards as "Family Tradition" and "A Country Boy Can Survive." He runs his own label and scouts for up-and-coming talent.

He speaks his mind, too, and has become a voice for some Americans who are discontent with Obama. Last year, cable TV network ESPN pulled his song from its "Monday Night Football" telecast after he publicly compared Obama to Adolf Hitler.

But the singer turned the backlash to his advantage by gaining some new fans for his outspokenness, and he continues to voice his political with the new CD released this week.

The opening track, "Take Back Our Country," includes lyrics like "...I'll go find a network wants to treat me right, y'all can take the change and stick it out of sight" and "Hey Barack pack your bags, head to Chicago, take your teleprompter with you so you'll know where to go..."

Love him or not, Williams and his music always bears his unique take on life, whether he's mixing country with southern rock or throwing in the blues. He writes most of his songs, and those on "Old School, New Rules" are no exception.

"I got pretty motivated on this," Williams told Reuters. "The people, the fans, have inspired me and I guess that's why I wrote 10 and a half songs for the album. We have sold several hundred thousand dollars-worth of t-shirts that say ‘Take Back Our Country.' It's snowballing."

"Who knew Mickey Mouse and ESPN would put me in the forefront? I'm the mouthpiece for grandmothers who lost everything," he said, referring to the cable TV network's parent, The Walt Disney Co.   Continued...

Musician Hank Williams Jr. is pictured in this publicity photo released to Reuters July 12, 2012. REUTERS/Blaster Entertainment/Handout