It seems that ever since I picked up my first guitar, I’ve been hearing the name of Hank Williams. His songs are everywhere and he’s influenced everybody. Whatever style of popular music you’re into- country, blues, bluegrass, rockabilly, rock, pop, folk and gospel- somewhere in the back of it all sits Hank Williams with his crackling’ voice and his guitar a’ strummin’.
At once traditional and completely modern, Hank sings of a time in the American South when the war was over and the new world was wide open. You could do anything, go anywhere and be anyone,but this new freedom brought with it it’s share of heartaches and disillusionment. The best songs of Hank Williams not only chronicle the emotional landscape of that era but, like other great works of art, stand outside time and genre;they tell us who we are and touch our souls.
Andy Baylor has been interpreting the music of Hank Williams since the heady days of ‘70’s Melbourne when hip hillbilly country was heard a’ ringin’ down the streets of old Fitzroy and Carlton. With The Dancehall Racketeers, he toured the backblocks and back-roads of Australia spreading the sounds of Hillbilly Swing, Bob Wills and country fiddle; with his famous Cajun Combo, he single-handedly introduced a Cajun/ Australian hybrid form of bar-room music which re-interpreted Hank’s most famous songs and demonstrated stylistic connections between Hank Williams’ melodies and traditional Cajun music along the way. Over the last few decades he has recorded over a dozen independent CD’s which offer a broad range of styles and he has shared the stage with everybody from the world’s biggest rock stars to the most humble country busker.