On March 31, Norah Jones commemorated the 10th anniversary of The Living Room with a midnight performance at the intimate Manhattan music venue where the singer got her start. After a few numbers, she played a new song and explained that it originated from newly-found Hank Williams lyrics that she was had been asked to put music to. She also mentioned that she “was probably not supposed to play this.”
So we did a little digging, and it turns out there’s even more new music planned for those Williams lyrics. According to Keith Atkinson, an attorney who reps Hank’s daughter Jett Williams and the estate, the song is a part of what’s been referred to over the decades as the Shoebox Songs – several notebooks and a few scraps of paper – that Williams’ mother had turned over to music publisher Acuff-Rose (which is owned by Sony) when he died. “Finally, we came up with the brilliant idea [to have] Bob Dylan, who’s a huge Hank fan, put music to it,” Atkinson says, “and he decided he wanted to involve some other folks that are world-class artists.” Sony is mum on who else is participating, but the label told Atkinson an album is 80 percent complete and would be out for the holiday season.
We can’t recall whether Jones had a name for the Williams-inspired song, but it went something like this: “Night after night I’ve cried over you/Hoping someday you’ll be true/You took my heart, tore it apart.. How many times have you broken my heart.” It was definitely enough to whet our appetites for the rest of this project.