Hank Williams, Jr. revealed plans for his next album on Thursday – less than 24 hours after news broke of the death of his wife, Mary Jane Thomas.
Thomas unexpectedly died on Tuesday in Jupiter, Florida, possibly from a blood clot following a medical procedure, and the news came out Wednesday afternoon. Williams has not commented on the passing of his wife of more than 30 years. But the couple’s son Sam Williams called his mother “a beautiful soul who forever affected everyone who knew her.”
“She had a smile and presence that lit up every room, and she never met a stranger she didn’t befriend,” Sam Williams said. “Her spirit was gentle and giving. She could take down a ten-point buck and fix dinner for her grandchildren at the same time!”
He concluded: “Rest in peace Mama, I will always be the son of Mary Jane.”
The press release announcing the album said that Williams considered delaying the announcement but that the family believes music offers solace in the most difficult times.
Williams’ new album “Rich White Honky Blues” will be available June 17.
Produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, the 12-song album was recorded in three days.
“The blues is where it all comes from,” Williams said in a statement. “It’s the start of everything musical in my family; everything starts with Tee-Tot and flows from there. I’ve always flirted with this stripped back blues – all the way back to the ‘80s. But I finally made an album that’s just that, and I like it.”