"And Friends" is right. Hank Williams, Jr.
's first step off the Hank Sr.
bandwagon -- against all counsel from his mother and managers -- is a doozy of a record. Teaming with Toy Caldwell
, Charlie Daniels
, Pete Carr
, and producer Dick Glasser
, among others, Bocephus turned in one of the most inspiring performances of his career. First there is his read of Marshall Tucker's classic "Can't You See" that is wrought with so much emotion it literally spills from the band toward his tortured vocal. Next there are two of Hank Jr.
's own classics, "Stoned at the Jukebox," which has been covered by any country star worth his or her salt, and his personal anthem, "Living Proof." He dared fate on this one, coming off an attempted suicide and preceding a fall 600 feet down a mountain. But he was indeed "Living Proof" that he could survive his father's legend and do something noteworthy of his own. On top of all this are amazing renditions of "Brothers of the Road" and his own "Montana Song." Though it's brief, it smokes; Hank Williams, Jr. & Friends
stands as a personal watermark for Bocephus; it is one of the best country-rock albums ever made and stands with the best of the outlaw recordings of the era.