Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams [Egyptian/CMF/Columbia, 2011]
Unlike Woody Guthrie, Williams is loved more for his singing than his lyrics, and boy does some of this retrofitted doggerel lack character as entuned and delivered. Hank's granddaughter Holly and Amy's hubby Vince you'd guess, Uncle Merle reciting a farewell sermon probably not. But what you definitely wouldn't figure is Nashville tastemonger Patty Loveless accessing her inner twang or a Dylan named Jakob grabbing an unusually witty lament (OK, maybe he had dibs of some kind). And what you'd only hope is Alan Jackson imparting just the right gravity to the despairing opener--or Jack White two-stepping his find so lustily you know he has an all-Hank cover album on his life list, and that it can't possibly match up. B+