Saturday, February 27, 2021

Home A & E Review: Hank Jr. – Last Confederate

Review: Hank Jr. – Last Confederate

 “Are you sure Hank done it this way?”

The words of Waylon Jennings ran through my head more times than I could count during Hank Williams, Jr.’s Red Butte set last night.

Sure, it’s not fair to compare a man to his legendary daddy under normal circumstances — but these aren’t normal circumstances. Junior has made his entire career out of name-dropping his father, who died when he was just three years old, covering his father’s songs and dumping on the rest of country music while stroking his own ego with self-referential songs.

The ego was in full effect at Red Butte on Tuesday night, when Bocephus hit the stage in a back ball cap with the word “ICON” written on it in big gold letters following a medley of shitty new country songs that reference him (Gretchen Wilson, Kid Rock, etc.).

His chatter throughout the evening seemed to serve two purposes: 1) To remind people that Hank Williams is his father and 2) To remind people that Hank Williams, Jr. really thinks that Hank Williams, Jr. is great, the best, better than everyone else.

At one point, he dumped on both Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson by declaring, “Kris is a movie star and poor Willie hangs out at Taco Bell and smokes weed all day.” But right after he propped himself up by invoking his “Dear friend Waylon Jennings” who allegedly said of Junior, “I guarantee you one thing, that son of a gun is not adopted.” (That’s double points, for a name drop and a slick reference to Daddy, for those keeping track at home.)

He also reminded the Red Butte crowd that June Carter Cash was his godmother before singing, to the tune of “I Walk The Line”: “I keep my pants up with a piece of twine … Just say you’re mine, baby yank the twine.” Yes, Hank Williams, Jr. believes he still he has sex appeal, which he attempted (and failed) to prove to the crowd by referencing his Salt Lake City groupies, air humping, stroking a fiddle at his waist and attempting to play the piano with his ass.

There was music, of course. His voice wavered and was off-tune through most of them; some were his daddy’s songs, some were his own songs, some were covers, some were vaguely racist, some were overtly so. He hit on many favorites with the crowd, “If Heaven Ain’t a Lot Like Dixie,” “Move It On Over,” “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” “Kaw-Linga,” “A Country Boy Can Survive,” “Your Cheating Heart,” and of course, “Family Tradition.”

He played a few love songs, but they, like the rest of his songs, are really just about him. The crowd favorite may have been “Keep the Change,” a conservative Christian call to arms that he wrote slamming Obama, socialists and everything else this writer holds near and dear to her heart.

Speaking of the crowd … At a time when our country appears to be collectively moving away from the Confederate flag, there was no sign of that at Red Butte on Tuesday night. Junior’s merchandise table was selling the old Confederate battle flag emblazoned with his logo (of course) and the man himself wore a hat for part of the show with it on the bill (it is worth noting that Williams changes hats during shows like Cher changes outfits).

It was a much more blue-collar crowd than one will usually find in the east benches, but seriously, this crowd hooted and hollered every time a dirt road or a country girl was mentioned like they knew what the hell he was talking about. When Junior rolled out an Al Jolson-esque impersonation of a black musician, oh, how they laughed.  I’m certain that they drove home to Herriman in their Ford F-350’s with their Confederate flags still wrapped around them high fiving over the awesome night they just had. I left Red Butte angry at the insensitivity of the crowd in a state that can’t even claim heritage as the reason to continue waving the symbol of hatred and intolerance.

Williams covered Run DMC’s “Walk This Way,” in the most inexplicable moment of the night. “I play with black bands, white bands, yellow bands, red bands. I’ve even rocked out with two Yankee bands!” he declared in the same way racists claim to have black friends before seguing into Ted Nugent’s “Cat Scratch Fever.”

He signed off for the night after playing “Family Tradition,” but not before an incomprehensible rant about a Sandra Bullock soundtrack and how people should kiss his ass (I tried to Google it, I still don’t know what the hell he was talking about) and this: “If you don’t like Ludacris, if you don’t like ZZ Top, if you don’t like Waylon Jennings, if you don’t like Run DMC, if you don’t like my boys Kings of Leon, if you don’t like Ray Charles, if you don’t like Fats Domino, if you don’t like Flatt and Scruggs, if you don’t like Hank Williams, you can kiss my ass!”

And then the creepiest thing I’ve EVER heard, “I know you’re going to go home and make love and I’m going to be right there with ya.”

No, Hank. Please. Your daddy didn’t do it this way.

Even in the exploration boom of the 1800s, nobody dared to explore the terrain flowing through the Green and the Colorado Rivers.⁠

That is, nobody until Major John W. Powell said the 19th Century equivalent of “Hey man, hold my beer while I try this.”⁠

Read more about his dangerous expedition at the link in our bio!⁠

Photo of Powell’s expedition courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division⁠

A brand new issue of Salt Lake magazine is coming your way! ⁠

We can't wait to share these stories with you. This issue includes our annual Blue Plate Awards celebrating those surviving and thriving in the restaurant biz. Plus, we take a road trip to Wyoming and ask why the only Utah passenger on the Titanic didn’t survive her journey.⁠

A note from our editor Jeremy Pugh, including beautiful tributes to Mary Brown Malouf from our friends in the community, is online now. Read more at the link in our bio ❤️⁠

Subscribers: Look for this issue in your mailbox soon. The magazine will be on newsstands March 1! 📬

Today, we are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2021 Blue Plate Awards! ⁠🎉⁠

These prizes honor the growers, food evangelists, grocers, servers, bakers, chefs, bartenders and restaurateurs who do more than put good food on the table—they make our community a better place to live. This year, just surviving as a local business deserves an award, but each of our Blue Plate winners did more than that. They made us grateful for every person involved in the essential act of feeding us.⁠ 🍽⁠

At the link in our bio, we have the full list of winners, a celebration of feats of COVID creativity and a tribute to restaurants we lost this year. If you’re hungry for more, pick up a copy on newsstands March 1! Plus, check out our Instagram for spotlights on some of the Blue Plate winners. ⁠

This year’s Blue Plate Awards are the first without our beloved Executive Editor Mary Brown Malouf. We dedicate them to her, our town’s biggest food fan, critic and champion. xoxomm⁠ 💙

2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @ricobrandut for Staying in Beansness⁠

Last summer, it seemed that Rico would be another victim of rapid gentrification in Salt Lake. Luckily, Rico was able to find a new home in Poplar Grove and now plans to add even more employees. It’s a last-minute happy ending for a community leader who literally wears his mission on his sleeve, courtesy a tattoo in bright red block letters: “pay it forward.” 💙⁠

2021 Blue Plate Award Winner: @spicekitchenincubator for Keeping the Spice Flowing⁠

This year Spice Kitchen Incubator, already an essential resource for refugees, became, well, even more essential. 💙⁠

2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @thestore_utah for Special Deliveries ⁠

As grocery delivery becomes the new norm, The Store offers a personal touch that only an independent grocer can provide. Last March, high-risk and elderly customers began calling in their grocery lists over the phone, and The Store’s general managers personally delivered food to their homes. 💙⁠

2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @cucinaslc for Preserving Neighborhood Connection⁠

Cucina’s outdoor spaces became a place where the neighborhood could gather safely. Owner Dean Pierose offered free coffee in the mornings and encouraged his regulars to linger and commiserate together, preserving a semblance of society during a socially distanced time. 💙⁠

2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @oquirrhslc for Betting the Bottom Dollar⁠

When COVID-19 hit Salt Lake City, Oquirrh co-owners Andrew and Angelena Fullers' dream was seriously damaged. But the Fullers keep trying to follow the rules. 💙⁠

2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @hearth_and_hill for Opening Doors⁠

As the pandemic ravages independent restaurants, Hearth and Hill has reaffirmed its commitment to small businesses in Park City and used its large dining room as an informal gathering space for the city. 💙⁠

2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @fisherbrewing for Creative Canning⁠

This year, Fisher found ways to utilize their beer, taproom space and canning capabilities for good. They created special lines of limited edition beers in custom cans to help raise funds for local businesses struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic. 💙⁠

A wind storm #tbt for your feed today. 🌬️🛹⁠

2020 was a long, long, loooong year, so we asked local photographers to share what the new normal looked like through their eyes. The link is in our bio!

Just hours after being sworn in, President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling for a review of the boundaries for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. The monuments—designated by Barack Obama in 2016 and Bill Clinton in 1996—were reduced by roughly 2 million acres by former president Donald Trump, and the executive order is seen as move towards restoring the original boundaries.⁠

Read the full story through the link in bio.⁠

📸Bears Ears National Monument: Courtesy of Utah Office of Tourism

What’s your favorite park in Utah? ...