The Cincinnati Music Heritage Foundation hosted a "Hank Williams Christmas Party" on the second floor of the building at 811 Race Street in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday (December 22). The date and locale were significant in that it was on December 22, 1948 that Hank Williams entered the Herzog Studios, located on the second floor of the building, and recorded "Lovesick Blues."
The occasion also served as a listening party for the forthcoming Sol Records release Hank to Thank by the Dallas Moore Band. Moore, who sings as though he is channeling Waylon Jennings, recorded the album in the old Herzog space, marking the first time since the official studios closed in the 1950s that the locale has been used to record an album (think Marty Stuart's Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions).
Author Brian Turpen, who is a contributor to the Hank Williams Fan Club magazine and author of the book Ramblin' Man: Short Stories From the Life of Hank Williams, was on hand for the event. During his remarks he stated the Herzog site is the only building in which Williams recorded that has survived the wrecking ball or urban expansion.
Live music was provided by Cincinnati's honky tonk band Straw Boss, who roared through a number of classic country songs, some of which ("Blues Stay Away From Me" and the song the night honored) were recorded at Herzog. They are a promising band, but they tend to suffer from the desire to modernize classic country songs with a rock sound (most noted on their forgettable version of "Blue Yodel #1 [T for Texas]"). When they stuck to singing the country songs like country songs they were a good highlight to the festivities.
Among the attendees were funk legend (and Cincinnati native/music scene supporter) Bootsy Collins and his wife.