If Sinead O'Connor can make an album of standards and Don Henley can cover Leonard Cohen, there's no reason on God's green earth why producer/multi-instrumentalist Don Was shouldn't be allowed to record jazzy R&B versions of obscure Hank Williams songs. He may have chosen some of the more esoteric gems from Hank's catalog so as to lessen the culture shock, but with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard and Sweet Pea Atkinson applying their respective talents to the proceedings, the initial novelty of the arrangements is undercut by virtuoso performances.
While the project, complete with lengthy instrumental interludes, smacks of self-indulgence, it's hard to go too far wrong with a cast of musicians as fine as the ones employed here. Was gets extra credit for talking Merle Haggard into lending his voice and guitar to "I'm So Tired Of It All."
1) Once Upon a Time in Detroit (01:55)
2) I Ain't Got Nothin' But Time (08:27)
3) Never Again (Will I Knock on Your Door) (03:52)
4) Excuse Me, Colonel. Could I Borrow Your Newspaper? (04:56)
5) Detroit in a Time Upon Once (00:56)
6) Forever's a Long, Long Time (06:50)
7) You've Been Having a Rough Night, Huh? (04:49)
8) Lost on the River (13:04)
9) A Big Poem About Hell (02:47)
10) I'm So Tired of It All (03:38)