Hank Williams Jr. Reacts After ‘Rich White Honky Blues’ Debuts At No.1: ‘This Is Beyond My Wildest Dreams’

Hank Williams Jr.; Photo by Alysse Gafkjen
Hank Williams Jr.; Photo by Alysse Gafkjen
Hank Williams Jr.; Photo by Alysse Gafkjen

Country music icon Hank Williams Jr. continues to prove his staying power with the release of his new Rich White Honky Blues record.

Following its June 17 release, the project landed at No. 1 on the Current Country, Americana/Folk and Blues Albums charts, and rose to No. 2 on the Current Rock and Record Label Independent Current Albums charts.

Hank Williams Jr. Rich White Honky Blues
Hank Williams Jr. Rich White Honky Blues

“This is beyond my wildest dreams,” Williams, 72, shared after learning the album debuted at No. 1 across multiple genres. “What a great feeling.” 
 
Dan Auerbach, a GRAMMY-winning Producer of the Year, spent three days recording the 12-song-set live, reprising classics from Robert Johnson, Lightnin’ Hopkins, R.L. Burnside, Muddy Waters, and more. Electric slide guitarist Kenny Brown, bassist Eric Deaton, drummer Kinney Kimbrough, Williams, Auerbach, and the band brought the blues to life throughout the album.

“If you wanted to play this kind of music, you couldn’t have better players,” explains Auerbach. “The first time I ever saw Hank Jr. on TV, I was a kid raised on Robert Johnson and Hank Williams, Sr. records, and those things came through so clearly watching him. So, I tried to assemble the right parts to just sit in that piece of who he is.”
 
“It’s that rawness, and how real it is. I was always searching for the rawness, the darkest stuff,” adds Auerbach. “Once we were in it, as soon as we started playing, Hank was invested. That lifted everybody else up, to really push each other.”

Hank Williams Jr. adds with a chuckle, “you bring who you are. All that… all… of… that… is where my music comes from. When we got into the studio, the more we played, the deeper we got – and the deeper we got, the harder I wanted to go. Those songs just fit the moment. It is what it is,” Williams says, still laughing. “You know, that’s the thing. Blues is what it is – and whoever you are, there’s a dose with your name on it. You can let it knock you down, or you can stand up and play the guitar, witness to what happened and throw down hard to get rid of it.”

Rich White Honky Blues Track List

  1. .44 Special Blues
  2. Georgia Women
  3. My Starter Won’t Start
  4. Take Out Some Insurance
  5. Rich White Honky Blues
  6. Short Haired Woman
  7. Fireman Ring the Bell
  8. Rock Me Baby
  9. I Like It When It’s Stormy
  10. Call Me Thunderhead
  11. TV Mama
  12. Jesus, Won’t You Come By Here
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