Various The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams

Various The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams
A gaggle of country and folk stars rallied around Bob Dylan for this unique tribute, admirably completing ideas Hank Williams couldn't get to before he died at age 29, on the road, alone, in the backseat of a car. This "lost notebooks" project, where artists put unrecorded Williams lyrics to new music and melodies, was spearheaded by Dylan and, at the risk of over-praising our host, his "The Love That Faded" is in fact the highlight, not too far off from some of his best recent work. In fact, that's where the record thrives: when people do their least to mimic Hank's phrasing and style. Jack White falters with his overwrought delivery on the otherwise clever "You Know That I Know," while Lucinda Williams is devastatingly grand on "I'm So Happy I Found You," just as Levon Helm's "You'll Never Again Be Mine" is warm and charming. Featuring strong turns by Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard and even granddaughter Holly (with an un-credited assist from her embarrassing dad, Hank Jr.), The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams is the closest we may get to hearing new work by the greatest country music songwriter ever. (Columbia)