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If you could only pick a few songs to define the sound of the outlaw country movement, Waylon Jennings‘ “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” would have to be one of them. Just the title itself screams “outlaw,” and anyone who has heard it before knows that the lyrics do the same.
“Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” was written by country singer-songwriter and guitarist Steve Young, who is best known for writing The Eagles‘ hit “Seven Bridges Road.” As a pure celebration of outlaw country culture, “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” is full of rebellious lyrics such as “Been travlin’ these highways and doin’ things my way.”
A song like that was begging for a tried and true outlaw to record it, and that’s where Waylon stepped in. He made the song the title track of his 1973 album, which reached the eighth spot on the country albums chart.
Although “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” was never released as a single, it is one of the most well-known songs in Waylon’s catalog. As a result, other artists have performed the song as a way of paying tribute to him.
One such artist is Hank Williams Jr., who was actually close friends with Waylon. The two famously collaborated on a duet titled “The Conversation,” which reached the 15th spot on the country charts.
As a certified outlaw himself, Hank Jr. is able to bring the same rough and rowdy attitude to the songs that Waylon made famous. He proved that when he sang “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” during a concert in 2016.
Hank Jr. roared through the song as he plucked away on his acoustic guitar at the speed of lightning. The energy in the room was at an all-time high, as he put forth one of the most intense performances we’ve ever seen from him.
You can feel the energy as well when you watch the video of Hank Jr. singing “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” below. This is how you do a tribute performance folks!
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