Risin' Outlaw is the debut solo album by Hank Williams III, which showcased a neotraditional style of country music.
Shelton Hank Williams, also known as Hank Williams III and Hank 3, is a singer, drummer, bassist, and guitarist. Hank spent much of his early career playing drums in punk rock bands during the late 1980s and early to mid 1990s. Williams signed a contract with Nashville music industry giant Curb Records. In the late 1980s, upon first meeting Hank Williams III, Minnie Pearl, a friend of the late Hank Williams Sr., reportedly said "Lord, honey, you're a ghost," as she was astonished by his striking resemblance to his grandfather.
In addition to his honky tonk recordings, Williams' style alternates among country, punk and metal. He is the principal member of the punk metal band Assjack, the drummer for the Southern hardcore punk band Arson Anthem, and was the bassist for Pantera singer Phil Anselmo's band Superjoint Ritual. He has released seven studio albums, including five for Curb Records. Williams is the grandson of country music legend Hank Williams and the son of Hank Williams Jr.
Hank Williams III first solo album, Risin' Outlaw, was released in September 1999 to respectable sales and strong reviews. While his name (and his uncanny vocal and physical resemblances to his grandfather) could have guaranteed Williams a thriving country audience, he had little 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 his songs "Trashville" and "Dick in Dixie."
Hank Williams III was reported saying that he hates this album and considers his sophomore album as his real debut. In an interview Williams III gave with Rockabilly.net, he said, "I'm not happy with it. I hate it; can't even listen to but maybe two songs on it. I said (to the label) that every damn interview that I do I ain't gonna talk good about it. Curb thinks this album is so different and so alternative. It's a headache."
Williams' live shows typically follow a Jekyll and Hyde format: a country music set featuring fiddle player Adam McOwen and slide guitar player Andy Gibson, followed by a hellbilly set, and then an Assjack set. He plays both the country and the psychobilly with his "Damn Band." Assjack produces a very different sound than either, mixing heavy doses of metalcore, psychobilly, and hardcore punk.