Hank Williams, Jr. & the Cheatin' Hearts

Country Shadows

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Country Shadows is an album from the days before Hank Williams, Jr. found his own sound. Consequently, he attempts a number of styles, from his crossover hit "Endless Sleep" to straight country and country-pop. A trucking song, "Ten Ton Load," and "Pecos Jail" show him dealing in the working class and outlaw themes with which he would come to be identified in the '70s. "Standing in the Shadows" is a moving composition that inspires sympathy for the constant comparisons to his father Hank Williams, Jr. suffered early on, as do the ambivalent liner notes that essentially beg the listener to give the poor boy a chance. In reality Country Shadows is a fine album for those who like (or even prefer) early Hank Williams, Jr., in that it contains three of his first four hits and an uncommon selection of material that diverges from the typical covers-laden formula of '60s country albums.

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