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The Last Ride Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The recently released movie The Last Ride, based on Hank Williams’ last day of life, has met with some criticism in regard to its limited view of the lanky star’s looming legend. Its accompanying soundtrack, however, is a thoughtfully assembled jigsaw puzzle that makes for an engaging if somewhat scattered listening experience. Notably, it boasts a bloodline connection in Jett Williams, whose birth occurred just days after father Hank’s death. On cover versions as well as original songs evoking a decades-old country flavor, Jett brings a dose of her dad’s spirit to the proceedings. 

While it might seem misplaced here among the mostly rural-leaning vintage and faux-vintage fare, a syrup-smooth cover of “Cold Cold Heart”—a nod to Tony Bennett’s 1951 pop version of the Hank Williams classic—knowingly points to the broad appeal of Hank’s “hillbilly” songs. A trio of era-appropriate gospel songs, meanwhile, underscores importantly the influence of Southern gospel in Hank’s own music.  

Fittingly, this album inspired by a great country singer actually contains one: newcomer Nathan Young. Sporting a Randy Travis-like range and an endearing vocal break that brings Garth Brooks to mind, Young resounds with personality and excels on yesteryear-skewing yet fresh-sounding songs penned for the film (plus an impressive turn on “The Tennessee Waltz”). 

While those seeking a strictly country destination may be detoured by the diversity, the soundtrack to The Last Ride offers an intriguing and apt mixture that tells more about Hank than its road-movie counterpart, providing you pay attention to the space between the lines.

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