Wayne Hancock: Ride
Wayne “The Train,” Hancock is not just carrying the torch of traditional country; he is the flame at the heart, burning deep blue. His 8th album simply titled Ride, is on the surface a collection of old time country, honky tonk blues and rockabilly with its every man poetry of hard luck and trouble and good time sing along songs but after a few listens you will be infected by the deep artistic intricacies and musical precision delivered on each track by Hancock and company. The first thing you’ll notice is the conspicuous lack of percussion, as the duo of Hancock on rhythm guitar and Zach Sapunor on upright bass create a churning deep groove that swings like a ten piece band. They are then augmented by artful arpeggios and counter point melodies on electric guitar, trombone and pedal steel, the likes of which haven’t be heard for decades.
Each of the eleven tracks feels like a long lost classic from fifty years ago delivered by Hancock with homespun authenticity and smooth Texas drawl. Standouts among them are the rollicking title track about cruising on a hot two wheeler, and the classic country shuffle “Low Down Blues.” The chorus of “Home With My Baby,” begs for a shout out call and response from the dance floor. The New Orleans swing of the “Gal From Kitchen’s Field,” could have been written for Satchmo himself. The “Cappuccino Boogie” is so much cornball fun you cannot help but smile wide and sing along, Go! Cat! Go! The album ends with the only cover song, a straight up reading of “Any Old Time,” which was recorded by Jimmie Rodgers in 1929, just to remind the hipsters where all this music came from in the first place.
Originally Published at Innocent Words July 2013
rick j bowen