Hank Williams Jr. belts out country hits and political jabs

Are you ready for some political commentary?

Country legend Hank Williams Jr. played to a crowd of nearly 8,500 at the Iowa State Fair Grandstand on Friday night.

You might recall, criticism of President Barack Obama on a Fox News program last year led to ESPN dropping Williams’ “Monday Night Football” theme song after 22 years. Friday, Williams shot barbs at Obama, ESPN and “Fox & Friends” in his opening song “Keep the Change” before launching into “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” the basis for the “Monday Night Football” theme.

Williams was lively and over-the-top, strolling the stage, strumming his guitar, sawing on his fiddle and hammering on the piano during a nearly two-hour set.

Performing is in Williams’ blood, and the lineage of talent was on clear display.

He paid tributes to those roots, telling the crowd stories of growing up in a house where it wasn’t unusual to find Fats Domino, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and others over for dinner. Williams showed a knack for mimicry, performing a version of his dad’s “Your Cheatin’ Heart” as in the style of Domino and a version of Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” that included Williams playing the piano with both his boots and his booty.

He unapologetically refers to himself as a dinosaur, as evidenced by the song of the same name. >>>

Following the song “We Don’t Apologize for America,” a chant of “USA, USA” broke out among the crowd. Williams smiled, telling the crowd that he was their mouthpiece and adding:

“We’ve got a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S., and we hate him!”

The cheers that followed were loud and enthusiastic.

Williams closed his set with an extended rendition of “Family Tradition” before performing a segment of Kris Kristofferson’s “If You Don’t Like Hank Williams,” letting the world know that if you don’t like his dad, or him, or Johnny Cash or Kid Rock, Van Halen or others, you can kiss his … (the part of him he used to play piano earlier. And not his boots).