If Daniel O'Donnell is the brightly scrubbed face of British country music then Hank Wangford is its guilty conscience, its dark and troubled grubby soul. Hank has picked at the miserable underbelly of country music for twenty eight years, inspiring others like Billy Bragg, The The, The Alabama Three and other alt.country musicians.
He has spread the word with his two ground breaking television series, Britain’s first on Country music, "Big Big Country" and "The A to Z of C&W" and his books "Lost Cowboys" and "Hank Wangford Vol 3 The Middle Years".
This messianic derailment onto the path of country music came from befriending and playing with Gram Parsons, ex-Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers, in the seventies. This was at a time when Hank - as Dr Sam Hutt - was a rock 'n roll doctor. Many of his patients were from the world of rock music and the hippie alternative world. The Grateful Dead, the Who and the Rolling Stones were some of his clients.
It was when Gram Parsons came over to hang out in London with Keith Richards that Keith sent Gram with his wife to see Doctor Sam. Gram passed the country torch to Emmylou Harris and the Rolling Stones as well as to Doctor Sam. Since then Hank has fronted a series of hot country bands, aiming for country non-believers. It's not all misery. Some of his songs and stories are sad and some funny.
From Reno, Nevada, barreling through the gates of country music, Hellbound Glory are equal parts country melody and bar-room honky-tonk.