When we expanded our bluegrass curriculum by adding a stack of Larry Sparks CDs, my least favorite among them was Larry Sparks Sings Hank Williams; for some reason it didn’t hit me nearly as hard as the others, and so I only listened once or twice. Later we heard the first CD from Don Rigsby’s new band, Rock County, and fell in love with their version of “Since My Sweet Love Ain’t Around”, a Hank Williams song. So it was on our minds to find a good Hank Williams anthology–which we did; it’s called Hillbilly Hero, has four CDs and costs about twenty dollars.
Hank Williams was an awe-inspiring singer. Somewhere in the middle of listening to those CDs Chris says, “You sure can tell that Larry Sparks spent a lot of time studying this guy.” So I dug out the Sings Hank Williams CD, and now it’s one of my favorites. Go figure.
One special treat: the fiddler is Chubby Wise, who more or less invented bluegrass fiddling while in Bill Monroe’s band, and his playing thirty years on is pretty tasty.