Stillwater News Press

Arts & Entertainment

February 26, 2014

MUSICIAN'S SPOTLIGHT: Band pays tribute to country music legend


NAME: Hankerin’ 4 Hank

MEMBERS: Jim Paul Blair (Hank Williams Sr.), guitar/vocals; Virgil Bonham, lead guitar; Cliff Parrett, doghouse bass; Dana Hazzard, fiddle; Mickey Flatt, steel guitar; Cory Wyatt, drums

FROM: Raised in Clayton, Blair graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1984, picking with Garth Brooks when they were students. With country music in his blood, Blair was exposed to the legendary music of Bob Wills at an early age as the son of former Texas Playboys member Ramona Reed. Hank Williams was one of his earliest influences and he first performed a tribute on New Year’s Eve in 2002. Blair portrayed Williams in the Muskogee Little Theatre in 2009 where he won Actor of the Year awards for his “Lost Highway” performances in 2009. Residing in Muskogee, Blair serves as executive director of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

PERFORMS: Blair developed the band in 2009 but the group has played together as City Moon for more than 10 years. The Hankerin’ 4 Hank show features classic country by Hank Williams Sr. The musicians present an authentic experience with the look and sound of the 1950s era complete with doghouse bass and honky-tonk guitar. The audience will step back in time listening to the tunes in the style that Williams wrote them.

FAVORITE SONGS TO PLAY:  “I Can’t Help it if I’m Still in Love With You;” “Hey Good Lookin’;” “Lovesick Blues;” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart”

NOTABLE: The band has recreated the “Health and Happiness” radio show in their performances.   

FAVORITE PLACES TO PLAY: The Hankerin’ 4 Hank show has made two East Coast/New England tours including stops at the Strand Theatre in New Jersey, Southern Vermont Arts Center and New Hampshire Beach Seashell State. They’ve traveled abroad with crowds seeking them out at CountryFest in Germany.

ARTIST QUOTE: “Hank Williams and The Drifting Cowboys come alive in this show — presented as if it was 1952 using attire and instrumentation from the period,” Blair said. “You may laugh and cry seeing the Hillbilly Shakespeare come to life.”

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