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Hank Williams Jr. and fellow country legend Waylon Jennings were old friends, and worked together on multiple occasions up until Jennings’ death in 2002. So it makes sense that for his 2015 album, It’s About Time, Hank decided to cover one of Jennings’ songs, “Are You Ready for the Country?”
“Are You Ready for the Country?” was originally written by Neil Young and was released on his 1972 album Harvest. Waylon released his version of the song in 1976, and it was a chart success, peaking at the 7th spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
Over the years there have been many ideas as to what the exact meaning of the song is. One speculation is that when Young wrote the song, he may have been asking his fans if they were ready to follow him into country music. For Jennings and and Williams, this meaning seems fitting, since both are known as legends in country music.
With a chorus that includes the lyrics, “Are you ready for the country/Are you ready for me/Are you ready for the country/Ain’t that a sight to see?” at least from Jennings and Williams’ standpoint, it makes it seem as though they are asking their audience if they are ready to experience their hardcore country personas.
Williams’ fans had the chance to see him perform the song during his much-anticipated CMA Awards opening performance with Eric Church in 2015. A few weeks later, Hank released his official music video for the song, which also features Church.
In the video, Hank starts off performing in a barn on his own, before Church steps up to join him. The two artists jam out together along with a band featuring traditional country instruments, such as a fiddle. Toward the end of the video, the backdrop falls to reveal that Williams and Church are actually performing in a parking garage, and they conclude the song by bringing the “country” to the city.
You can watch Williams’ official music video for “Are You Ready for the Country?” below.
We love Hank’s version of this old Waylon tune!
Hank Williams Jr.’s ‘A Country Boy Can Survive’ Box Set is available now on digital formats and in stores – it’s the perfect gift for the Bocephus fan in your life. Buy it here on Amazon!
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