Hank Jr. is back folks. Three years after releasing Old School New Rules, Williams has dropped a brand new single and announced a new record, both the first song/record from Williams on his new label home, Nash Icon. The new record, It’s About Time, is set for release on January 15th, meanwhile Williams and Church debuted “Are You Ready For The Country” on the CMAs earlier in November. The single is pure Hank Jr. One thing I’ve always loved and admired about Hank Jr. is the fact that he’s never felt the need to change his music to follow the trends of the day. Williams has always stuck to what he knows, and ultimately, what his fans love.
“Are You Ready For The Country” was written and originally recorded by Neil Young for his 1972 album, Harvest. Waylon Jennings later covered it and released it as a single in 1976; the single became a Top 10 hit for him. Hank‘s version is, of course, rowdier than the other two, as Hank takes it and makes it his own. The single would fit perfectly in on anyone of Williams’ albums. It’s a fun little song, celebrating country, the lifestyle and the music. Is it Williams’ best song ever? No, but it’s not bad either. I admit to being surprised that this song was chosen to be the lead single, as it’s on the fluffier side with not much going on in it. It’s definitely an enjoyable song to listen to, just not a whole lot of substance going on.
“Are you Ready For The Country” features Eric Church, who actually fits in nicely with Hank Jr. and his music. I happen to be a fan of both Williams and Church, so I was excited to hear what the collaboration would sound like. My only complaint, and it’s a small one, is just that there was a lot of buzz about Eric being a part of the single, and in reality, he doesn’t really play a major role in the song. The two men trade lines, but Eric seems to get lost next to Williams. But again, it’s an enjoyable song and I’m sure will be a hit with Williams’ fans.
It’s hard to tell how it will fare at radio; the single is currently sitting at #58 on the Country Aircheck chart. Radio doesn’t generally play the legends anymore, but the fact that the single features Eric Church might help mainstream radio get on board with the single [ed note: the Nash Icon – Cumulus link didn’t exactly help Reba much because of how non-Cumulus stations reacted – this could fare the same]. Either way, it’s a good, pure Bocephus song, one you’ll be singing along to all day long.