Wayne “The Train” Hancock‘s music brings you back to a time of honky-tonk jukeboxes and crackling AM radios. His unique brand of hillbilly boogie is so authentic, it’s hard to believe that his first album “Thunderstorms and Neon Signs” came out in 1995. But he’s been bringing that classic juke-joint sound from town to town for all of us that are sick and tired of the glossy, stadium pop that passes for country music these days.
It’s equally hard to believe that Nashville, once the home of the Grand ‘Ol Opry and some of the greatest American songwriters of the 20th century has become such an assembly line for tired pop fluff. But, it’s a sad truth that traditionalists like Hancock are few and far between in “Music City” and honestly, probably not too welcome. Hancock, who calls himself “a stab wound in the fabric of country music in Nashville” said in an interview with Easy Reader.com, “I don’t see what is wrong with good music. I mean, it is not retro. If good music is retro, then we are really up a creek here.” Amen brother!
His live shows are always memorable. He’ll play for hours and take you through the history of American music, from honky-tonk to western swing to classic Texas rockabilly. Crowds swing and sway throughout the night as sweat and pomade drips from under their Stetson hats. He always has a crackin’ band backing him up and in hour three of his live show, when the dancers are huffing and puffing to keep up, he’ll show no signs of stopping, strumming away with a big ‘ol smile across his face. It’s refreshing to see this level of passion and musical professionalism when many modern bands take the stage for 45 minutes, look bored the whole time and play to an audience of crossed arms and barely bobbing heads.
Hank William‘s grandson Hank III was quoted as saying, “Wayne Hancock has more Hank Sr. in him than either I or Hank Williams Jr. He is the real deal.” AllMusic.com calls him “A rare breed of traditionalist with such high energy and passions that his songs never feel like the museum pieces he’s trying desperately to preserve.”
This is true blue-collar music; music that allows you to wash away the hard-working week with a couple tall cold ones and a spin around the dance floor with your favorite gal. And this week “The Train” is hitting San Diego! He’ll be at the Shakedown Bar on Wednesday, May 25th and we can’t recommend his live show enough. If you love country music, Americana, swing or great music in general, make sure you get yourself down to the Shakedown this Wednesday and experience a true American troubadour.