‘King of the Hill’ creator Mike Judge to make new animated series about country music stories

This Week’s News

*Sips beer*

Yyyyyep.

Mike Judge’s TV series “King of the Hill” defies iconic images of Texas and looks at a slightly befuddled propane salesman as he copes with suburban life. Hank and his neighborhood friends get together for a few beers in Mike Judge s King of the Hill. Credit: Fox Network

Mike Judge’’s TV series “King of the Hill” defies iconic images of Texas and looks at a slightly befuddled propane salesman as he copes with suburban life. Hank and his neighborhood friends get together for a few beers in Mike Judge s King of the Hill. (Credit: Fox Network)

“King of the Hill” bowed after 13 seasons on FOX in 2010, but fans of the Texas-set animated comedy will get another chance to experience some red state humor from Mike Judge once again.

Judge recently announced he will be bringing a new animated show, “Mike Judge Presents: Tales From The Tour Bus,” to HBO sister station Cinemax, according to Deadline. The half-hour comedy series “chronicles the tales of some of country music’s most eccentric characters.”

Deadline also reported that Dub Cornett, co-writer of the 2011 Hank Williams biopic “The Last Ride” will be on board as well.

It remains to be seen whether this will be sort of like an animated “Drunk History,” where country fans tell wild stories set to Judge’s animation; or if it will be original animated episodes based off of stories like the time Johnny Cash got busted for drugs or that moment when Kenny Chesney tried to ride off on a New York police officer’s horse.

More country music TV: Netflix’s ‘The Ranch’ championed country music and its fans in 2016

Whatever the format, I’m hoping some country stars get to do the actual voice work. When “King of the Hill” was on the air, the show frequently featured prominent country music stars of the day, including Charlie Daniels, Clint Black, Dwight Yoakam, Tammy Wynette, Trace Adkins, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Wynonna Judd, George Strait, Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn, Natalie Maines, Randy Travis and Brad Paisley.

Cinemax ordered eight episodes of the show, which is set to premiere sometime later this year. It will be Cinemax’s first foray into original animated comedy programming.

This Week’s Best New Song

Let’s ignore for a moment that Shay Mooney is doing his best impression of The White Weeknd during this music video, and instead focus on the video’s subject matter. Like “Fire Away” before it, the video for “How Not To” takes a song about a failed relationship and turns it into something much more powerful.

Just listening to the audio for this song makes it sound like the “you” in “But I don’t know how not to think about you” is an ex. The video turns that “you” into alcoholism, pain and regret. And just when the video starts to get too melodramatic, it backs off for a happy ending featuring two characters who meet at the beginning of the video in an AA meeting.

This is the rare occasion where the video enhances the listener’s perspective on a song. Expect it and its video to be awards show front runners come November.

This Week’s Worst New Song

For a song all about “livin’ right now” and “the good times that we left the wild side out to play,” there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of joy in Brantley Gilbert’s live performance of “Rockin’ Chairs.” A by-the-numbers guitar solo here, some references to partying there, all framed within the concept that the antics sung about will be the ones Gilbert will wax nostalgic about in a rocking chair someday.

Come on man, get excited! Be happy about being able to be young and go crazy! Instead, “Rockin’ Chairs” sounds like a somber affair, more focused on the upcoming rocking chairs than the here and now.

This Week’s Best Country Show in Austin

American Aquarium performs at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park on Friday October 2, 2015. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

American Aquarium performs at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park on Friday October 2, 2015. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

North Carolina country rockers American Aquarium returned to Texas this week, featuring a stop at Gruene Hall on Saturday. Fresh off a debut solo album from frontman BJ Barham and the band’s second live album (“Live at Terminal West”), the band is back on the road playing their brand of introspective country rock. Their last show in Austin at 3Ten in July saw them play a smattering of old hits and John Prine covers mixed in with material from “Wolves,” their latest release. Tickets are $15, and AA takes the stage at 10:30.

This is the Country Music Roundup, a weekly blog where we’ll give you the latest news in country music releases and local country shows. For a more in-depth analysis of the genre and where it’s headed, check back with our weekly Gone Country blog every week.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know on Twitter @jakeharris4 or by email: jharris@statesman.com.

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