Hank Jr. & Tracy Byrd Thrill on Throwback Thursday [PHOTOS]
Anyone who showed up at the Great Jones County Fair in Monticello Thursday night wanting to hear the artists talk to the crowd was disappointed. No, Tracy Byrd and Hank Williams Jr. weren't there to chat, they were there to play. And did they ever.
Tracy Byrd strode to the stage and immediately busted into "I'm From the Country," one of his nearly 15 Top 10 songs. Byrd played hit after hit, each one reminding us not only that he has had more than 30 charted songs, but why the 1990s are the best decade in country music history.
Before launching into his first number one song, the 1993 hit "Holdin Heaven," Byrd shared how happy he was to see so many people in attendance that weren't even born when the song was released. He told those concertgoers that, at their age, he and his friends would party in south Texas, all the while listening to Hank Williams Jr. Later in the night, it would become clear just how big of a fan he was.
Byrd ended his 45-minute set with what may be the loudest singalong ever for a 28-year-old song. When he sang "Watermelon Crawl" it seemed like there was no one in the house that wasn't singing.
Then came the legend. The Country Music Hall of Famer. Somebody needs to investigate his birth certificate because 73-year-old Hank Williams Jr. absolutely rocked Monticello.
Bocephus, who received his nickname from his father and fellow Country Music Hall of Famer Hank Williams, told stories through his songs throughout his performance. He showed off his musicianship on electric guitar, fiddle, and even time on the keyboards. And. He. Rocked.
When Hank Jr. launched into "All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin' Over Tonight" he mentioned its decades-long longevity as the Monday Night Football theme and its winning of Emmy Awards. He concluded by saying, "and I wrote that f------ song." Then, he tore through the song with the expertise of a man who's been doing it for decades. His horn section came to the front of the stage to join the party. All the while Tracy Byrd, the fan, stood on the side of the stage, admiring the work of a legend. He even took out his phone to take a photo to capture the moment, the magic of Hank Williams Jr.
Hank talked about the famous acts who visited his childhood home before his father's death when he was just 3 1/2. There was Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley. He sang bits of songs from each of the three, songs that Hank's father had first made hits.
When the time came for the show to end, Hank Jr. brought Tracy Byrd back to the stage to join him for "Family Tradition." It was the perfect ending to a seemingly perfect concert enjoyed in perfect Iowa weather.