Shelton Hank Williams (born December 12, 1972 in Nashville Tennesee) is an American musician. He is sometimes credited as Hank III.
The grandson of Hank Williams and the son of Hank Williams Jr., he spent much of his early years playing drums in punk rock bands. In 1996, child support payments led Hank III to sign a contract with Music City giant Curb. Three Hanks: Men With Broken Hearts was issued shortly thereafter, which brought the voices of all three generations of Williams men together. While this may seem to be a nice beginning, it was quite different from what Hank III himself desired musically. Despite having been born in Nashville, Tennessee, Hank III has never had a preference for mainstream country.
While his name (and his uncanny vocal and physical resemblances to his grandfather) could have guaranteed him a thriving country audience, he had no patience for the often predictable Nashville sound, nor for even the minimal constraints on behavior his promoters required. His opinions on this subject are well summed up in the songs “Trashville” and “Dick in Dixie”.
His first album on his own, titled Risin’ Outlaw, was released in September 1999. Lovesick, Broke & Driftin’ was released in 2002. He had a great deal of trouble with his label Curb Records, with incidents as extreme as their unwillingness to either release his appropriately named This Ain’t Country LP, nor allow him to issue it alone, and his selling of “F*** Curb” T-shirts. Battles with Walmart had delayed the release of his third studio album, titled Straight To Hell, which will be released on Feburary 28th as a two-disc in two formats: a clean version (for Wal-Mart), and an uncensored version, which will be the first country album to bear a parental advisory sticker on the cover.
He plays country with his “damn band” and produces a rather different sound with Assjack, which is a metalcore/psychobilly band. He is also the Bass guitarist in Superjoint Ritual, with former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo. Superjoint Ritual has since disbanded but III is still working with Anselmo
on one of his many side-projects.
A number of “sub-sub-genres” have been coined describing his original sound, such as hard-twang, punkabilly, cowpunk, alternacountry, slacker swing, hellbilly, and honky punk.
Hank III has recorded the tracks “87 Southbound”, “Thunderstorms and Neon Signs”, as well as “Why Don’t You Leave Me Alone”, which were penned by Wayne Hancock, a musician who is often compared to him.
Hank III enjoys an extremely loyal grassroots fan base and much of his success can be attributed to his taper friendly stance regarding the audio/videotaping of his frenetic live shows which has been his main promotional vehicle considering the lack of attention paid to his promotion by the Curb Record label.
The Damn Band/Assjack also featured fiddle player extrodinare Michael “Fiddleboy” McCanless who would play both sets, the traditional country set of the concert and then come back and plug his fiddle into a distortion box and saw away during the metal set. Sadly his talent left this world on February 3, 2003 after losing a battle with cancer, of which the cry of “Fuck Cancer” came out of Hank III’s “Fuck Curb” campaign.