Booming country singer-songwriter Hank Williams IV to make Madison debut
It’s always fun to interview new artists who are coming to perform in central Maine, as is the case with a country singer-songwriter with a very famous name: Hank Williams IV. Back on the 15th of this month, I got a call from a gentleman with a southern accent and we had a chat.
Williams: Hi, is that Lucky Clark?
Q: Yes it is.
Williams: Here Hank Williams IV.
Q: Hello sir, how are you?
Williams: Make it fantastic.
Q: Good to hear. Now, have you ever played in Maine?
Williams: Yes, we played in Maine on June 12th.
Q: Have you ever played Somerset Abbey by any chance?
Williams: No, but I can’t wait to play this series.
Q: I think you will like the place and the people who go there will like you too.
Williams: I hope so (laughs).
Q: How do you go about choosing what to do with music?
Williams: I’m just trying to sit down and read the audience and see pretty much what they like, if they want to hear a bunch of old classic stuff, like the Hank Sr. stuff, or are they more the rowdy type and love the Hank Jr.
Q: Do you write songs yourself?
Williams: I do a little. I’m not really a songwriter but I do a bit. I have a few songs there: “Hank Williams’ Ghost” and “I-65”, which I co-wrote with my mate Jeff Dunham.
Q: What do you have as a support group with you?
Williams: At the moment we are a group of three musicians who is myself, I play solo guitar and I have a drummer and a bassist.
Q: Ah, just the basics.
Williams: It’s very basic but it sounds really good.
Q: I don’t doubt it at all. Now, just out of curiosity, where are you calling from?
Williams: My home here in Montgomery, Alabama.
Q: How long do you spend on the road?
Williams: As much as I can (laughs). I love to go on the road, I love to travel, I love to see new faces and play in theaters, I love it.
Q: And with the lifting of the restrictions a bit, you should take advantage of that as well.
Williams: I’m doing it, but it’s a little slow right now, I hope COVID doesn’t lift its ugly head and things calm down, but I don’t think it will, I think things will go downhill. ‘will improve.
Q: I hope so too. Now, how much time do you spend on the road, when you can get on it, that is.
Williams: Oh, Lord, I think the longest I’ve ever been on the road would be two to three weeks, usually I would go out for a few shows here and there on weekends and the same the following weekend.
Q: Earlier you indicated that you perform songs by Hank Sr. and Hank Jr., how far do you go in their music catalogs?
Williams: Quite deep, actually. One of the reasons I absolutely love their music and stuff is that they tell a story. Most music these days doesn’t show real, real emotions, it doesn’t reveal anything, and I mean, come on: songs about tractors and all that? Dude, this just isn’t real! Hank wrote about his real emotions, his sorrows, his relationships with people, the real things, that’s what he wrote.
Q: Well, he’s definitely an icon in the country music business, that’s for sure.
Williams: Absoutely. I’ve admired her since I was little. I played all of his records and sang with them, writing the lyrics, reading the songbooks, and everything like that. It was at the age of 4 and I did my first performance at the age of 5.
Q: It starts young, for sure. What do you want people to take away from the Madison show at Somerset Abbey?
Williams: I don’t know, just hope it makes everyone happy and hope they really enjoy it and stuff.
Q: Oh, I just have to ask you: do you have a favorite Hank Williams Sr. song?
Williams: Well I have a favorite song, it’s always been my favorite, and it just happens to be the first song I learned from Hank Sr. and it’s a little tune called “Hey , Good Lookin ‘”! It’s always been my favorite, that and then “Long Gone Lonesome Blues” was another of my favorites because it’s yodeling in it and I love doing this song, it’s a fun song.
Q: Now, is there anything you would like to pass on to people reading this article?
Williams: Yes, if they want to check my social media, my facebook page is hankwilliamsiv, they can check my youtube channel on hankwilliamsiv, check the website: it’s hankwilliamsiv.com and hope they like my music.
Lucky Clark has spent over 50 years writing about great music and the people who make it. He can be contacted at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.