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The Greatest Hits Live, Vol. 2

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Hank Williams 22/6/2013

Review

Hank Williams was the first modern country star, rising to stardom immediately after World War II, and his infectious, confessional, and brilliantly written songs of hard love and hard drinkin' still remain the center template for country music in the 21st century. Williams lived his life so close to his honky tonk persona that in the end it is impossible to tell where one ended and the other began, making his story a postmodern one of the antihero with tragic flaws who wins because he first risks and then loses everything. And the songs! Part blues and part Tin Pan Alley, Williams' songs are succinct, folksy gems that sketch out a timeless honky tonk soap opera with Williams at the center, but what saved them from being set pieces are the very real and basic emotions that Williams spotlights in song after song. The best of them are simply brilliant expressions of loneliness and a desperate longing for redemption. This set collects three songs recorded at a concert Williams did on a Sunday afternoon at Sunset Park in West Grove, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1952, less than six months before his death, as well as a version of "Lovesick Blues" from a show a few months earlier in Niagara Falls, New York, and rounds things out with two songs Williams performed for a 1949 patent medicine-sponsored radio show, and four songs from various radio broadcasts Williams did in 1951. Williams' too-brief career was near its end just as the era of live-to-tape concert, radio, and television shows was beginning to take hold, and we're lucky to have these Williams performances preserved, even if only a handful survived into the 21st century. ~ Steve Leggett
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Lovesick Blues Hank Williams 3:41
  3. 2 Jambalaya Hank Williams 3:44
  4. 3 Long Gone Lonesome Blues Hank Williams 3:20
  5. 4 I Saw the Light Hank Williams 3:22
  6. 5 I'm a Long Gone Daddy Hank Williams 2:40
  7. 6 Softly and Tenderly Hank Williams 3:49
  8. 7 I Can't Get You Off My Mind Hank Williams 1:50
  9. 8 When the Saints Go Marchin' in Hank Williams 2:37
  10. 9 The Blind Child's Prayer Hank Williams 3:19
  11. 10 Hey, Good Lookin' Hank Williams 2:16

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