18th Tribute to Hank Williams, Liberty Theater, Jan. 27, 2018
The 18th Tribute to Hank Williams Sr. at the Liberty Theater Jan. 27, 2018, was dedicated to the memory of the late D.L. Menard, who was a mainstay at all of the previous tributes. In 2018, while Hugh Harris was singing “Honky Tonk Blues,” from which D.L. Menard borrowed the melody for “La porte d’en arrière,” accordionist Reggie Matte entered the stage as the crowd cheered, and Terry Huval took over the vocals with the words to the most famous song in all of the Cajun repertoire.

The rest of the show offered Hank’s greatest hits along with a few lesser known numbers like “Someday You’ll Call My Name,” originally recorded with Hank accompanying himself on guitar and worked up as a band arrangement for the Liberty show.
In addition to Hugh Harris, whose voice and stage performance bring Hank back to life every year at the Liberty show, and Terry Huval, who masterfully organizes the show, other vocalists included Kelli Jones, Megan Brown, Pope Huval, Luke Huval, and nine-year-old Benjamin Bruce, the grandson of Vin Bruce, who did an excellent job singing three songs, handling himself like a true professional. When Benjamin switched from English to French in his rendition of “Cold, Cold Heart,” the crowd clapped and cheered. His grandfather, who was unable to perform as originally scheduled but was in the audience, must have been really proud of his talented grandson.

Moving from the stage to the audience for a few minutes, host Barry Ancelet interviewed Vin Bruce, who described his encounter in Nashville with Hank Williams that led to Bruce performing at Hank’s wedding in New Orleans.

The band this year consisted of Gina Forsyth on fiddle, Ross Shellard on steel guitar (including a solo version of “Cold, Cold Heart”), Kyle Harris on lead guitar, Bobby Dumatrait on rhythm guitar, Kenneth David on upright bass, and Tony Huval on drums.

For a listing of Cajun and Zydeco bands and Mardi Gras photos included on these Flickr pages, go to www.cajunzydecophotos.com or www.cajunzydecophotos.com/mobile.
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