Review: Williams gets political on new album

Hank Williams Jr., "Old School, New Rules" (Bocephus/Blaster)

Hank Williams Jr. kicks off his album "Old School, New Rules" by addressing ESPN's decision to drop his song as the opening theme for "Monday Night Football," a role he held for more than 20 years. In a robust voice, Williams bellows: "I'll go find a network that will treat me right" to start "Takin' Back The Country," a song set to a rocking arrangement of his legendary father's song "Mind Your Own Business."

The lyrics of "Takin' Back The Country" refer to his notorious 2011 interview on the TV program "Fox & Friends" in which he made an allegory that some construed as comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler. Williams makes it clear that he considers the incident an example of political correctness run amok.

Singing with fire in his belly, and offering up ferociously rocking tunes fueled by a bluesy slide guitar, Williams tackles political themes throughout "Old School, New Rules." He wrote every song, save a cover of his father's "You Win Again," which he turns into a southern-rock stomper, and a duet with Merle Haggard on the latter's classic hit, "I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink," in which the two aging country stars have a ball trading lines with ribald delight.

Williams' conservative viewpoint will rankle some and rally others. At age 63, though, the old lion of country music continues to roar — and to say exactly what is on his mind.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: On "I'm Gonna Get Drunk And Sing Hank Williams," the family torch-bearer joins with Brad Paisley in a rollicking honky-tonk tune that suggests Hank Jr. deals with his troubles by raising a ruckus.

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