Por el camino –perdido y de perdición– que transitó Hank Williams.

Hank Williams’ reputation today rests, in part, on his status as the artist who cemented the notion that the singer and the song had to be indivisible if the effect on the listener was to have sufficient resonance and depth. Yet Williams was also a fine interpreter of others’ songs, so much so that Lost Highway, written by Leon “I Love You Because” Payne, is often mistaken for a Williams original. The song’s protagonist seems to have ambled straight out of the dustbowl, an everyman doomed by luckless love to roam, rootless and alone, in constant search of redemptive purpose. Williams’ own struggle to reconcile the sacred and the profane certainly helped him wear Payne’s song as if it were one of Nudie Cohn’s trademark suits, but it’s his voice – cracked, careworn but never tired – that makes this the definitive reading of an all-time classic, and a high point in a career that had more than its share.