After Hank Williams’s death in 1953, his song notebooks disappeared into the vaults. Decades later, the songs have been dusted off and finished by artists including Bob Dylan and Jack White — the sort of folks who should be entrusted with the task.
The result is reverential and frequently wonderful. Everyone is so determined to channel Williams that the songs can feel like museum pieces. Only Lucinda Williams (whose “I’m So Happy I Found You” is so natural, you’d swear it was her own) escapes with her personality intact.
The songs are mournful, lightly swinging and Hank-like, a testament to the disc’s near-flawless curation. An exception: Williams’s granddaughter Holly shows up, but her hell-raising half-brother Hank III is, criminally, nowhere to be found.