With his own new label, Hank3 Records, and the sense that he has thrown off the chains that have been holding him back, Shelton Hank Williams III, aka Hank 3, is coming out swinging with the release of four records on September 6th. That's right -- four.

The unprecedented launch, in a distribution partnership with Megaforce Records, features a broad range of music that bridges more than one head-thumping genre - a familiar theme that true Hank 3 fans have embraced for years. 'Ghost to a Ghost/Guttertown,' a double-album set, is a straight-shooting country collection, flavored with Hank3's trademark hellbilly sound and heavily weighted with Cajun influences and an ambient, lonesome mood, along with a few very special guests including Tom Waits.

The other two releases are 'Attention Deficit Domination' and '3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin,' intensely metal-driven records on which Hank 3 plays all instruments. 'Attention Deficit Domination' is a pressure-dropping, doom rock statement that has been anticipated by his hardcore fans for years, while 'Cattle Callin' explores a new mind-bending "cattle core" sound, featuring Hank 3's speed metal woven around actual cattle auctioneering.

All three projects were recorded at The Haunted Ranch, Hank 3's home and studio on the outskirts of Nashville. The town has never quite known what to do with the rebellious grandson of an American icon. Hank 3 finally parted ways with long-time label Curb Records on January 1.

"I have musical freedom. I'm able to say 'Here's my record' and I don't have to go through a million different channels just to put out a song," he says. "It's all me now."

Hank 3 wrote the lion's share of the songs that appear on the 41-track 'Ghost to a Ghost.' The players are Andy Gibson on steel guitar and banjo, who also aided in its recording, David McElfresh on fiddle and mandolin, Zach Shedd on stand-up bass, Daniel Mason on banjo, super-picker Johnny Hiland on guitar, Billy Contreras on fiddle, and Rory Hoffman on accordion.

Guest appearances include the mythical Tom Waits on the haunted 'Fadin' Moon' from 'Guttertown' and on the 'Ghost to a Ghost' title track, Alan King of Hellstomper, Les Claypool of Primus, Dave Sherman, Troy Medlin and Hank 3's dog, Trooper. "Both 'A.D.D.' and 'Cattle Callin' are very intense. It's very manic," Hank 3 says. "It's hard to follow, even for the guys I play with. I'm playing everything on these two. It's very complex."

The September release of all three projects represents a new birth for Hank 3, and he's happy to have the chance.

"Megaforce Records has helped me with my vision to do something that's never been done before," he says. "They're handling my distribution, and I wanted to flood the market and do everything different. I wanted to come out of the gate strong. I'm opening up the mind a little bit and bringing some different styles together."

Watch the video for 'Long Hauls and Close Calls'


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