Hank Williams IV

It’s always fun to interview new acts coming to central Maine to perform, such 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 an accent that spoke of the south and we chatted.

Williams: Hey there, is this Lucky Clark?

Q: Yes, it is.
Williams: This is Hank Williams IV here.

Q: Hello, sir, how are you doing?
Williams: Doing fantastic.

Q: Good to hear. Now, have you played up in Maine before?
Williams: Yes, we played in Maine on June 12th.

Q: Have you ever performed at the Somerset Abbey, perchance?
Williams: No, but I’m actually looking forward to playing that show.

Q: I think you’ll like the venue and that folks going there will enjoy you, as well.
Williams: I sure hope so (laughter).

Q: How do you go about choosing what you do, as far as music goes?
Williams: I pretty much just try to sit back and read the audience and see pretty much what they like, whether they want to hear a bunch of old classic stuff,like the Hank Sr. stuff, or are they more of a rowdier type and love the Hank Jr. stuff.

Q: Do you do any songwriting yourself?
Williams: I do a little. I’m not much of a songwriter but I do a little bit. I’ve got a few songs out there: “Hank Williams’ Ghost” and “I-65”, which I co-wrote with my buddy Jeff Dunham.

Q: What do you have for a backing band with you?
Williams: Right now we are a three-piece band that’s myself, I play lead guitar, and I’ve got a drummer and a bass player.

Q: Ah, just the basics.
Williams: It’s the very basics but we sound really good.

Q: I don’t doubt that at all. Now, just out of curiosity, where are you calling from?
Williams: My home here in Montgomery, Alabama.

Q: How much time do you spend on the road?
Williams: As much as I can (laughter). I love to go on the road, I love to travel, I love to see new faces and perform in the venues, I just love it.

Q: And with the restrictions lifting a bit, you must enjoy that, as well.
Williams: I do but it’s a little slow right now, hopefully COVID doesn’t rear its ugly head and things shut back down, but I don’t think it will, I think things will get better.

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 got out for a few shows here and there on the weekend and the same on the next weekend.

Q: Earlier you indicated that you perform songs from Hank Sr. and Hank Jr., how deep do you go into their catalogues of music?
Williams: Pretty deep, actually. One reason why I absolutely love their music and everything is they tell a story. Most music this day and time does not show real true emotions, it’s not being revealing of anything, and I mean, come on: songs about tractors and all that stuff? Man, it’s just not real! Hank wrote about his true emotions, his heartbreaks, his dealings with people, real things, that’s what he wrote about.

Q: Well, he certainly is an icon in the country music field, that’s for sure.
Williams: Absolutely. I’ve been looking up to him every since I was little. I played all his records and I’d sing along with them, writing down the words, reading the songbooks, and everything like that. That was when I was 4-years-old and I did my first performance at the age of 5.

Q: That’s starting young, for sure. What do you want folks to take away from the show you’ll be doing in Madison at the Somerset Abbey?
Williams: I don’t know, I just hope it makes everybody happy and hope they really enjoy it and everything.

Q: Oh, I’ve just got to ask: do you have a favorite Hank Williams Sr. song?
Williams: Well, I have a favorite, it’s always been my favorite, and it just so happens to be the first song I ever learned from Hank Sr. and that’s a little tune called, “Hey, Good Lookin’”! That’s always been my favorite, that and then “Long Gone Lonesome Blues” has been another one of my favorites because it’s got the yodeling in it and I just love to do that song, it’s a fun song.

Q: Now, is there anything you’d like to pass on to the folks reading this article?
Williams: Yeah, if they’d like to check out my social media, my Facebook is hankwilliamsiv page, they can check out my Youtube Channel at hankwilliamsiv, check out the website: it’s hankwilliamsiv.com and that I hope they enjoy my music.

Lucky Clark has spent more than 50 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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