Rolling Stone - p.1324.5 stars out of 5
-- "Williams' nasally drawl is crisp and strong, like the young Dylan without the sandpaper; he holds the long, desolate notes in 'Cool Water' with stunning force."
Dirty Linen - p.41
"Not only do the tracks brim with raw, unrestrained emotion, but they project a certain warmth and conviction, not to mention finesse, that give each song the necessary emotion it needs."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1195 stars out of 5
-- "With a host of hymns, traditional songs and covers Williams never otherwise recorded, and one or two hitherto unknown originals, it's a thrilling new insight into a 20th century music colossus."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.1025 stars out of 5
-- "There's a looseness to many of Hank's performances....A mesmerizing and intimate portrait of country music's first superstar."
Personnel: Hank Williams (vocals, guitar); Cousin Louie Buck (spoken vocals); Samuel K. "Sammy" Pruett (guitar); Jerry Rivers (fiddle); Howard Watts (bass guitar); Audrey Williams (background vocals).
Liner Note Authors: Colin Escott; Jett Williams.
Authors: F. Keith Adkinson; Jett Williams.
As important as any country music release in the digital era, HANK WILLIAMS: THE UNRELEASED RECORDINGS finds Williams delivering some of the most impactful performances of his career. Captured during his artistic zenith in 1951 for the Mother's Best Flour Company, these sessions' acetates were forgotten until the 1970s. Eventually Williams's daughter Jett won a protracted legal battle and partnered with Time Life for their release. Mastered without the severe compression that bedeviled his most famous studio recordings, the 143 tracks foreground Williams's expressive vocal delivery as it seesaws between a yearning rustic croon and shiv-sharp, reedy wail. A loose Hank jokes with his studio band and even tells stories about some of the songs as he introduces them. Touching upon his classics like "Cold, Cold Heart," "Hey, Good Lookin'," and "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)," the bulk of the three discs comprises songs that pop up nowhere else in the country god's catalog. Among these many standouts include charged readings of "On Top of Old Smokey," the cowboy standard "Cool Water," and the Luke the Drifter song "Pictures from Life's Other Side" (with a never-before-heard extra verse). An essential purchase for country music fans and enthusiasts of all stripes.