Hank Williams III

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Hank Williams III
Hank Williams III (Hank3) - Roskilde Festival 2012.jpg
Williams performing at Roskilde Festival 2012
Background information
Birth nameShelton Hank Williams
Also known as"Hank 3"
BornDecember 12, 1972 (age 47)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S
  • Musician
  • singer
Years active1991–present
Associated acts
Website hank3.com

Shelton Hank Williams known as Hank Williams III and Hank 3, [1] (born December 12, 1972) is an American musician, singer and multi-instrumentalist, known for his alternating musical style, between country, punk rock, and heavy metal. He is the principal member of the punk metal band Assjack, the drummer of hardcore punk band Arson Anthem, and former bassist of Phil Anselmo's band Superjoint Ritual. He has released eleven studio albums, including five for Curb Records. Williams is the grandson of Hank Williams, the son of Hank Williams Jr., the nephew of Jett Williams, and the half-brother of Holly Williams.


Music career

Early career

Williams spent much of his early career playing drums in punk rock bands during the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s. He signed a contract with Nashville music industry giant Curb Records. Three Hanks: Men with Broken Hearts was issued shortly thereafter, which spliced together recordings to make it seem that three generations of Williams men were singing alongside one another. In the late 1980s, upon first meeting Hank Williams III, Minnie Pearl, a friend of the late Hank Williams Sr., reportedly said "Lord, honey, you're a ghost", as she was astonished by his striking resemblance to his grandfather. [2]

Risin' Outlaw and contract issues (1999–2004)

Williams' first solo album, Risin' Outlaw , was released in September 1999 to respectable sales and strong reviews.[ citation needed ]

Williams' live shows typically follow a Jekyll and Hyde format: a country music set featuring fiddle player David McElfresh and steel guitar player Dan Johnson, followed by a hellbilly set, and then an Assjack set. He plays both the country and the psychobilly with his "The Damn Band". Assjack produces a very different sound than either, mixing metalcore, psychobilly, and hardcore punk.

The lineup for Assjack includes the addition of supplemental vocalist Gary Lindsey and the departure of his fiddle and steel guitar players. McElfresh's predecessor was fellow-fiddle-player Michael "Fiddleboy" McCanless, who would play all three sets, adding traditional violin for the country set of the concert before turning on different effect pedals for later sets. Fiddleboy died on February 1, 2003. Another former band member was guitarist Duane Denison, previously with The Jesus Lizard, who left The Damn Band and Assjack in January 2001 and later that year formed Tomahawk.

Williams played bass guitar in heavy metal band Superjoint Ritual, now renamed as Superjoint for legal reasons, led by former Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo.

Thrown out of the Bar and Straight to Hell (2004–06)

Williams at the South by Southwest festival 2006 Hank Williams III SXSW 2006 crop.jpg
Williams at the South by Southwest festival 2006

In late 2004 Thrown Out of the Bar was slated for release, but Curb Records opted not to issue it. Bar was reworked into Straight to Hell , released on Curb's rock imprint, Bruc. Battles with Walmart delayed the appearance of this album, which was released on February 28, 2006 as a two-disc set in two formats: a censored version (for Wal-Mart), and an uncensored version that was the first major-label country album ever to bear a parental advisory warning. Straight to Hell was also the first release through Curb's Bruc Records imprint. However, the uncensored version was released through Bruc, and the clean version was released through Curb. One of the songs, "Pills I Took", was written by a little-known Wisconsin group called Those Poor Bastards, who originally released the song on their 2004 CD Country Bullshit.

Independent releases (2007–present)

Williams in 2010 Hank Williams III 2010 2b.jpg
Williams in 2010

Williams played drums for Arson Anthem, formed with Phil Anselmo and Mike Williams of the sludge metal band Eyehategod. [3]

Williams released his long-awaited punk-metal album Assjack on August 4, 2009.

His next album, Rebel Within , was released in May 2010, and was his last album with Curb Records. [4] It charted at number 20 in Billboard magazine.

Curb Records released This Ain't Country under the title Hillbilly Joker on May 17, 2011 without the consent or input from Williams after his contract with the label had been terminated. Williams told his fans, "Don't buy it, but get it some other way and burn the hell out of it and give it to everyone." [5]

On June 23, 2011, it was revealed through Williams' personal Facebook that he would be releasing four new CDs on September 6, 2011. It said to expect country, doom-rock, and speed metal with cattle callin' on the releases. Entitled Ghost to a Ghost/Gutter Town (a 2-disc country record with some ambient and folk influences), 3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin' (a metal record in the newly anointed cattle core genre) and Attention Deficit Domination (a doom-rock record), these new albums were released on Williams's own record label Hank3 Records through Megaforce Records, and feature guest appearances by Tom Waits, Les Claypool (Primus), Alan King (Hellstomper), Ray Lawrence Jr., Troy Medlin (Sourvein), Dave Sherman (Earthride) and Williams' dog, Trooper. [6]

On April 17, 2012, Curb released a Williams album titled Long Gone Daddy , marking the second album the company has released under his name since his departure. On March 4, 2013, On Williams's web site, it was announced that he is working on two new albums. It has been confirmed that there are at least 25 new songs. [7] On May 3, 2013, Williams released the names of two new albums: a country album Brothers of the 4×4 and punk album A Fiendish Threat, under the band name "3".

On January 1, 2014 it was announced that Williams was working on a new side project as well as the release of two new videos; one for Brothers of the 4x4, the other for A Fiendish Threat. The albums were released in the Fall of 2013. [8]

In April 2014, Curb Records released a new album under Hank Williams III's name titled Ramblin' Man. The album contains previously unreleased material that Williams recorded while on their label.

Curb released another Williams album of previously unreleased songs titled Take As Needed for Pain in April 2015. The album is mostly a rock album but the single released was a country song titled "Ruby Get Back to the Hills".

On August 18, 2017, Curb released a Greatest Hits album featuring select tracks from Williams' first four albums, mostly from Straight to Hell.


Studio albums

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<i>A Lethal Dose of American Hatred</i> 2003 studio album by Superjoint Ritual

A Lethal Dose of American Hatred is the second studio album by heavy metal band Superjoint Ritual. Former "touring only" bassist Hank Williams III is featured on this album. Nearly every song begins with a count-in by vocalist Phil Anselmo. "Waiting for the Turning Point" and "Stealing a Page or Two From Armed & Radical Pagans" are finished versions of the two bonus demos released on their first album, Use Once and Destroy. A Lethal Dose of American Hatred was the band's last full-length studio album until Caught Up in the Gears of Application was released in 2016. The band disbanded in December 2004 and reformed in October 2014.

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<i>Straight to Hell</i> (album) 2006 studio album by Hank Williams III

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.

Arson Anthem is an American hardcore punk band, formed in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, in 2006. The lineup comprises singer Mike Williams of Eyehategod, guitarist Phil Anselmo, country musician, punk rocker and Assjack frontman Hank Williams III on drums, and bassist Collin Yeo.

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The following is a complete discography of all albums and singles credited to American country, punk rock, and heavy metal musician Hank Williams III, some of which were released without his approval.

<i>Hillbilly Joker</i> 2011 studio album by Hank Williams III

Hillbilly Joker is the sixth studio album by Hank Williams III. It was released on May 17, 2011. The album was originally recorded and planned to be released in 2003 under the title This Ain't Country, but Williams' label, Curb Records, refused to either release the album or allow him to issue it on another record label. This angered Williams so greatly that he began selling "Fuck Curb Records" T-shirts at his concerts, where he would play a number of songs from this release, notably "Hillbilly Joker", "Life of Sin," "Hellbilly," and "Tennessee Driver." The latter track was eventually re-recorded for Williams' 2009 Assjack side project.

<i>Assjack</i> (album) 2009 studio album by Assjack

Assjack is the self-titled debut album from heavy metal band Assjack. It was released on August 4, 2009. Lead singer Hank Williams III performed, wrote, and produced the album on his own from his home studio in Berry Hill, Tennessee.

<i>Ghost to a Ghost/Gutter Town</i> 2011 studio album by Hank Williams III

Ghost to a Ghost/Gutter Town is the seventh solo album by country artist Hank Williams III. The double album was released on September 6, 2011. All songs were recorded in Hank III’s home studio The Haunted Ranch. The album features guest appearances by Tom Waits, Ray Lawrence Jr., Eddie Pleasant, Alan King (Hellstomper), Les Claypool (Primus), Dave Sherman, Troy Medlin (Sourvein), and Williams' dog Trooper. Ghost to a Ghost/Gutter Town consisted of two of the four albums Hank Williams III simultaneously released on September 6, 2011 on Hank 3 Records (www.hank3.com), with distribution through Megaforce Records. It is also Hank III’s first album to be released by Megaforce, after leaving Curb Records in 2010.

<i>Live in Scotland</i> 2001 live album by Hank Williams III & the Damn Band

Live in Scotland is a live album by Hank Williams III & the Damn Band. It was recorded at the Renfrew Ferry in Glasgow, Scotland on 20 June 2000. It was released as an officially endorsed bootleg recording by Williams III in 2001 and has since gone out of print.

<i>3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin</i> 2011 studio album by Hank Williams III

3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin' is the eighth studio album by Hank Williams III, released on September 6, 2011 on Hank 3 Records, through Megaforce Records.

The Damn Band is the backing band of Hank Williams III. It was formed in 1995, and the band is on most of Williams's country records. The band has had many changes in the line-ups. It consists of acoustic guitar, steel guitar, fiddle, bass, drums, electric guitar and banjo.

Randy Kohrs is an American multi-instrumentalist best known for his resonator guitar prowess, but he plays 13 instruments. He is also a Grammy-winning producer and recording engineer.


  1. "The official website". Hank3. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  2. Harris, Will. "A chat with Hank Williams III, Hank Williams III interview, Damn Right Rebel Proud, Tyler Torreance was his manager". Bullz-eye.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  3. "Metal News – Superjoint Ritual Is No More". Metalunderground.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  4. http://www.hank3.com/media.htm Archived December 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. "Hank III in Billboard Top 10 For All The Wrong Reasons". Savingcountrymusic.com. June 3, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  6. "Hank 3". Facebook. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  7. "The Official Website". Hank3. Archived from the original on October 9, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 9, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)