Straight to Hell (album)

Straight to Hell is the third studio album by American country music/punk artist Hank Williams III. It was Williams' first release since settling a contract dispute with Curb Records and was one of the first releases on Curb's Bruc Records imprint. It is also the first ever country music release to merit both a parental advisory sticker on the package and a clean version of the album for more conservative retail outlets like Wal-Mart, due to language more suited to Williams' punk rock side and some repeated drug and alcohol references. It also marked Williams’ first release with explicit lyrics. On his website, Williams encourages fans to support independent record outlets that are more willing to stock the uncensored version of the album.[1]

Straight to Hell
Hank III Straight to Hell.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 28, 2006 (2006-02-28)
RecordedDecember 2004 – January 2005
GenreCountry, outlaw country, neotraditional country, cowpunk
Length87:56
LabelBruc
Producer
Hank Williams III chronology
Lovesick, Broke and Driftin''
(2002)
Straight to Hell
(2006)
Damn Right, Rebel Proud
(2008)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars link
Mxdwn.com(very favorable) link

Espousing the Do-it-yourself (DIY) ethic more associated with punk rock, Williams recorded the double album at what was referred to in the liner notes as "a house with a good wooden room in East Nashville" (recently revealed to be the house Williams's steel player, Andy Gibson, was living in at the time[2]) with a $400 Korg D-1600 digital workstation, handling producing and engineering duties along with his longtime Damn Band members Joe Buck and Andy Gibson, although instead of a "Produced and Engineered by..." credit, the Williams/Buck/Gibson triad was instead credited with "Settin' up the mics, turnin' the knobs and recording this record". The results would inspire Williams to state that every musician should own their own workstation in order to take full control of their own music.

The first disc features Williams and his Damn Band along with a handful of professional guest musicians and includes several tracks that Williams had been performing for years in his live show, including the infamous anti-pop-country anthem "Dick In Dixie" (better known to longtime Williams fans as "Let's Put The Dick Back In Dixie And The Cunt Back In Country", and omitted from the clean version of the album entirely). Also notable on the album is "Not Everybody Likes Us", where Williams addresses the rumor that Kid Rock is the son of Hank Williams Jr.

The second disc features a rawer Williams performing the song "Louisiana Stripes" (described by one reviewer as "a worthy successor to Johnny Cash's 'Folsom Prison Blues'"[3]), as well as a "hidden" 42-minute track featuring a medley of other Williams compositions along with covers of his grandfathers "I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You", Cheech & Chong's "Up In Smoke" and Wayne Hancock's "Take My Pain", all linked with various soundbites and sound effects such as voice mail messages, passing trains, runaway horses, a creek, a funeral, pig snorts, backmasking, and bong hits.

Fans who bought the album in participating independent record stores were given a free 12" picture disc that included the hidden track from disc two, split into two parts.

With a running time of 87 minutes and 56 seconds, Straight to Hell was Williams' longest studio album until the release of Brothers of the 4x4 in 2013.

Vinyl releaseEdit

A double vinyl Gate-fold was also released for the album. It contains slightly different artwork than the CD release and it also notes the 42 minute hidden track from disc two, but does not contain "Louisiana Stripes" as on the CD release.

Track listingEdit

Disc one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Satan Is Real/Straight to Hell"Charlie Louvin / Ira Louvin / Hank Williams III3:08
2."Thrown Out of the Bar"Williams III2:07
3."Things You Do to Me"Williams III2:22
4."Country Heroes"Williams III3:29
5."D. Ray White"Williams III3:47
6."Low Down"Williams III3:24
7."Pills I Took"Wyatt G. Hellickson2:31
8."Smoke & Wine"Williams III2:36
9."My Drinkin' Problem"Randy Howard2:42
10."Crazed Country Rebel" (Not featured on clean version)Williams III3:09
11."Dick in Dixie" (Not featured on clean version)Williams III2:37
12."Not Everybody Likes Us"Williams III4:30
13."Angel of Sin"Williams III6:07
Total length:40:29
Disc two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Louisiana Stripes" (Not featured on vinyl release)Williams III3:28
2."Hidden Track"Hank Williams / Williams III / Wayne Hancock / Cheech Marin / Tommy Chong42:00
Total length:45:28
Songs featured on Hidden Track
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."I Could Never Be Ashamed of You"Williams 
2."Smoke & Wine (Slowed Down Version)"Williams III 
3."Alone & Dying"Williams III 
4."On My Own"Williams III 
5."Back by My Side"Williams III 
6."Take My Pain"Hancock 
7."What's His Name"Williams III 
8."Loaded 44"Williams III 
9."Up in Smoke"Marin / Chong 

PersonnelEdit

  • Hank Williams III – vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric tic-tac bass, fremelo guitar, phaser guitar, shouts, bong
  • Joe Buck – electric bass, stand-up bass, mandolin, accordion, guitar, electric tic-tac bass, shouts
  • Andy Gibson – steel guitar, Dobro
  • Donnie Herron – fiddle, claw-hammer banjo
  • Johnny Hiland – electric guitar
  • Shawn McWilliams – drums
  • Randy Kohrs – Dobro, steel guitar, backing vocals
  • Tim Carter – banjo
  • Eric B – guitar
  • Tia Sprocket – backing vocals
  • Rod Janzen – electric guitar
  • Joe Fazzio – drums
  • Travis "Skunky" Gillespie – harmonica

ProductionEdit

  • Hank Williams III – recording engineer, mix engineer
  • Joe Buck – recording engineer
  • Andy Gibson – recording engineer
  • Jim Lightman – mixing engineer

Chart positionsEdit

Chart (2006) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 17
U.S. Billboard 200 73

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Hank Williams III News". Archived from the original on 2008-02-20.
  2. ^ Coroneos, Kyle. "Q & A with Andy Gibson". SavingCountryMusic.com. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  3. ^ Flotat, Raymond. "Hank III (Straight to Hell) review". mxdwn.com. Retrieved 2007-11-07.