[9 August 2009]
On 127 Rose Avenue, Hank Williams Jr.‘s first studio album in six years, he doesn’t deviate from the formula that has served him well since the late ‘70s. There is the vaguely menacing, conservative grip (tailor-made for the current recession) on the radio hit “Red, White & Pink Slip Blues”. There is the requisite homage to his father on the title track, and a eulogy for his pedal steel player Don Helms on “Last Driftin’ Cowboy”. There is even a hell-raisin’ honky-tonk number, “High Maintenance Woman”, that bares an uncomfortable resemblance to Toby Keith’s slightly superior 2007 song of the same name. Despite some vocal histrionics, this respectable set should please his aging outlaw fan base.