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On January 15, 2016, Hank Williams Jr. released his first full length album since 2012, called It’s About Time. In the weeks since its release, the album has generated a lot of hype, partially due to the release of its first single, “Are You Ready for the Country?” which features Eric Church. The single is a hardcore country boy anthem, right in tune with Hank’s persona.
But for the seventh track on the album, Hank dials things back a bit, and the result is powerful. The song’s name is “Just Call Me Hank,” and was written by Hank himself.
Through the lyrics, Hank shares how he doesn’t care about being in the hall of fame, and certainly doesn’t consider himself an icon. In the end, Hank feels the greatest sense of pride when someone recognizes him for who he is, not as the icon he’s been built up to be. He sings about these feelings in the final lines of the chorus, saying, “My name is Bocephus but I’m really proud/When someone just calls me Hank.“
Hank told Rolling Stone how he came up with the idea for the song, saying it was an emotional process for everyone involved:
“That thing came so fast, five minutes again, in a pickup in northwest Tennessee by Kentucky Lake going to the farm at 7:15 in the morning,And these kind of words come along? ‘Uh, oh wait a minute. I better pull over and write some of this down.’ I called a guy who’s been with me a long time, I gave him some words, then I called daughter Holly and gave her some words. This guy is bawling, Holly’s bawling, I’m bawling…everybody is bawling.”
Hank performed the song during a stripped-down, acoustic session at his cabin in Paris, Tennessee for a television special. During the performance, Hank sat on a stool in front of a large woods, while a few of his bandmates sat by and played instruments such as the harmonica.
The intimate setting adds to the reflective and personal nature of the song. It’s a different side of Hank that we don’t get to see all that often, but we definitely like it.
Tune in below to watch Hank’s performance of “Just Call Me Hank.”
What do y’all think of Hank’s new song?