Wayne “The Train” Hancock is an original. Well, almost anyway. He specializes in a blend of rockabilly, country and western swing, but by the time he was born in 1965, those styles were already way past their prime. Nevertheless, he plies his skills so convincingly, that it’s enough to ensure authenticity. “Ride,” “Low Down Blues” and “Fair Weather Blues” sound like the essence of a musical history lesson, what with all the retro references and Lloyd Maines’ spot-on production.
Pedal steel shares equal time with muted trombones, adding diversity to material that rarely veers from the basic template. Case in point: the smoky jazz that embellishes “Gal from Kitchen’s Field,” the hillbilly shuffle underscoring “Home With My Baby” and the rowdy Link Wray-like rumble shaking up “Deal Gone Down.” Each finds Hancock flirting with other influences while toying with some slight fluctuations. Even so, Ride is mostly aimed at those who favor the roads well traveled.
DOWNLOAD: “Ride,” “Low Down Blues, “Fair Weather Blues” –LEE ZIMMERMAN