Do you remember the last among Waylon Jennings’ album? A track within the album is “The Conversation” which he recorded with Hank Williams, Jr. An original by Hank Jr. in 1979, the song had another chance to be heard from the two legends of country outlaws. They must have had a good friendship. And, with that friendship, comes a tribute of Hank Jr. to Waylon – “Are You Ready for the Country?”
Neil Young, another notable singer-songwriter, penned, “Are You Ready for the Country?” and released it on his 1972 Harvest album. The song features Young on piano supported by the studio band dubbed, The Stray Gators. The original video recording was in a studio set up in a barn on Young’s ranch. According to Sam Inglis, the “country” in the title is not clear. Nevertheless, the lyrics are obviously not political either. Depending merely on the title, Young is probably asking his audience if they are prepared to follow him into country music.
On the other hand, Waylon Jennings’ “Are You Ready For the Country” was his first solo after the phenomenally successful Wanted! The Outlaws compilation. This version inspired Hank Williams, Jr. to record a third version of the song. It is this 1976 Top Ten country hit for Waylon Jennings that resonated with Williams, who once toured with the outlaw legend. Remembering the performances they shared, he said,
“That’s the part that means anything to me, that it’s a Waylon song.”
“Are You Ready For the Country” Version Three
Hank Williams Jr.’s debut single on Nash Icon Records stays true to Waylon Jennings’ original. “Are You Ready for the Country?” is a rowdy, country-rock track with some of its lyrics falling prettily out of step with today’s language. Nevertheless, the feeling is still there, and it’s still relatable.
Eric Church joins Hank Williams Jr. and his band for a new take on “Are You Ready for the Country”. Their video, however, focuses on their performance rather than any accompanying story. The clip takes place on a set that looks like an old barn, which is a fitting tribute to the original Young’s Harvest album.
Watch the video of what serves a perfect nod for Neil Young and Waylon Jennings.
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Eric church, Hank Williams Jr., neil young, Waylon Jennings