Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wayne Hancock - A-Town Blues

After seeing Wayne Hancock last week at the Dive Bar, even though it ran late enough on a Tuesday
night that I couldn't stick around, I was sufficiently impressed to want to look into his background further. I randomly (ok, it was the cheapest one I could find offhand) chose this CD, his fourth. There's no pix of the backing band here, so no idea if he has any fixed players, but on this CD the instrumental line-up is essentially the same as the group he had with him here - 2 guitars (Tony Lake, Dave Biller) a steel player (Jeremy Wakefield) and stand-up bass (2 players here - Shawn Supra and Ric Ramirez) - and are all top-notch. The sound is old-school country - as I said before, I was surprised to find that Wayne wasn't an original cat, as he sounds properly traditional, as a real C&W cat should.

Some tunes remind me of Hank Williams, some are more rockabilly-oriented, some are hillbilly-swing, some are almost blues and all are well-written and swingin'. Since the steel player here in Vegas was female, obviously is was not Jeremy, but he smokes the strings here and adds a fine flavor to the tunes. The stand-up has enough rhythm to keep you from missing any drums, and both guitarists add tasty licks, while Wayne's vocals are up there with the best in the field.

I freely admit that I'm not a country aficionado but until recently I had no idea that there were people still playing old-time country, as it should sound, instead of the pure crap that is popular these days. Nice to find and this just makes me want to discover more of Wayne's music. One to get, for sure!