Hank Williams: Snapshots from the Lost Highway: Colin Escott and Kira Florita, hardback, 208 pgs

This visually impressive coffee-table book provides an up-close and personal glimpse into the anguished, short life of Hank Williams (a man whose music purportedly caused Sid Vicious to openly weep in public!). Hank was a true American original with an unquenchable thirst for booze, women, and wild times. Yet he was a spiritually enlightened musical genius who masterfully composed a soul-stirring, toe-tapping array of inspirationally infectious songs that perfectly blended the raw burgeoning elements of country’n’western, blues, hillbilly, and traditional folk. His lyrics were brutally honest, heartfelt, and painfully poetic, candidly exposing a raging inner torment with beautifully blunt poignancy that the common man can still relate to this very day. His voice ached with emotion, passion, and undeniable sadness, richly textured in a down-home honky-tonkin’ moan of country twang, huckleberry howl, and lonesome backwoods yodel. This barnstormer of a book colorfully captures Hank’s brief, but profoundly productive, twenty-nine years here on earth. Included throughout the historically informative text are revealing personal letters, unpublished hand-written lyrics, business-related documents, performance flyers, and a titillating abundance of never-before-seen photos from the Williams family’s very own private archives. Snapshots from the Lost Highway is an exceptionally captivating page-perusing experience from cover-to-cover and back again. So “move it on over” to your local bookstore now, and put forth the bucks for this here outstanding hardback treasure-trove.Roger Moser, Jr. (Da Capo Press, http://www.dacapopress.com/)