The Riffing Cowboys Hank 'N' Roll: A Rock 'N' Roll Tribute To Hank Williams

The Riffing Cowboys Hank 'N' Roll: A Rock 'N' Roll Tribute To Hank Williams
Ever wonder: "what if Hank Williams played in a rock'n'roll band?" If so, this hugely entertaining tribute album is for you. Songs from the hardcore honky-tonk hero have often been rocked-up, but this may be the first full rock'n'roll tribute album. It's the brainchild of Ottawa guitarist/cowpunk fanatic Graham Young, and he's recruited a star-studded cast as the Riffing Cowboys. They're led by Jason Ringenberg and Warner Hodges (of the great Jason and the Scorchers), Dan Baird (the Georgia Satellites) and Eric "Roscoe" Ambel (the Del-Lords, Steve Earle). These cats were at the heart of '80s cowpunk and they still rock as hard as ever. Hearing the lusty, full-blooded voices of Ringenberg and Baird let loose on Hank's great songs is a delight, while Joe Blanton and Ottawa singer-songwriter Anders Drerup take the lead on a few cuts each, with the latter shining on "Cold, Cold Heart." Hodges plays guitar (lead, slide or rhythm) on every track, with Ambel chiming in on three cuts, while Ottawa producer Robert Libbey effectively assembles tracks recorded as far afield as Sydney, Nashville and Brooklyn. Including some lesser-known tunes from the Williams canon adds to the freshness of an album best played cranked to 11. Clearly a labour of love, Hank 'N' Roll is a job well done. (Independent)