Rumor has it that Hank Williams III once said “Wayne Hancock does my granddaddy better than me.” One listen to Wayne “The Train"'s tried-and-true yodeling to old-school Western swing, and you can believe it.
After a number of highly praised shows in intimate Duffy’s Tavern, Hancock and crew are returning to Chico in November to the bigger stage of the Brick Works. Touring in support of his fourth album, “cut in 20 hours, mixed in two days, and costing less than ten thousand to make and this is as it should be” (the liner notes read), Hancock writes happy-go-lucky country songs about everyday travails of a road-seasoned traveling musician.
This record is similar to his other output: That is, all the tracks are perfect embodiments of a classic American roots style, done with style and grace. Currently, my favorite track here is "Happy Birthday, Julie," with its dreamlike, jazz-like chord changes, relaxed tempo and irony-free lyrics—"Do you remember those warm summer nights when the stars hung in the air? I didn’t have a dime to my name/ But you didn’t care/ now you’ve gotten married and everything has changed/ But Happy Birthday Julie just the same." Gorgeous steel guitar, upright slap bass, and Wayne’s assured crooning make for one fine evening of tip-top, hundred percent American entertainment. If you haven’t seen him before, don’t miss it.