Hank Williams Jr. was born to entertain

05/17/2012 5:00 AM

05/17/2012 1:21 PM

It’s not easy to follow in the footsteps of a legend.

Not many sons of iconic musical figures have succeeded. But Hank Williams Jr. — progeny of the country legend Hank Williams, who helped form the template of the genre — has flourished as a singer-songwriter and become a sensation in his own right.

Williams, who will perform Saturday evening at Intrust Bank Arena, has carved out his own niche in music history.

Williams, 62, started out aping his father, but it didn’t take long for him to find his own identity. He has become a platinum-plus artist who deftly combines country, rock and blues.

He has been a regular on the country charts. He has hit the top of those charts with such catchy cuts as “Texas Women,” “Dixie On My Mind,” “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)” and “Born to Boogie.”

“There is no one in this industry that is like him,” Kid Rock said. “He’s incredibly gifted, and he has recorded some of the greatest songs ever. He’s someone I look up to with tremendous respect. He’s done it all, and he’s still doing it. He’s one of the nicest guys, most humble people you’ll meet considering all that he has accomplished. He’s real and someone that you have to tip your cap to. What can’t the guy do?”

Williams is one of the most versatile performers in the industry. He can sing and play guitar, Dobro, bass, banjo, harmonica, fiddle, piano, steel guitar and drums.

“I’ve been playing all of my life,” Williams said. “I like to play everything. That’s what it’s like being a musician. You need to be able to do it all. I have no problem with that.”

Bocephus, his late father’s nickname for him, has been performing since he was 8.

“I just think it’s in my blood,” Williams said. “It’s what I wanted to do as long as I can remember. There’s worse ways to make a living. It’s great to do anything that you love.”

Williams continues to make music, and he will preview songs from his next album, “Old School, New Rules.”

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