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Wayne Hancock

Ride – 2013 (Bloodshot)

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

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CDs by Wayne Hancock

Rockabilly comes in all different forms these days, regardless of whether it's of vintage ilk or simply reinvented and revived. Nevertheless, Wayne "The Train" Hancock is an original...at least as much as one can claim to be an original despite being born after that genre passed its prime. So, it's not surprising either that Hancock also tends to incorporate classic C&W and western swing into the mix, genres that were decidedly outdated by the time he came along.

Consequently, it's definitely to Hancock's credit - and a tribute to his skills - that he's able to ply his talents so convincingly. As a result, songs such as Ride, Low Down Blues and Fair Weather Blues not only sound as if they were excavated from some musical well, but like wholly original offerings at the same time. And with all the retro referencing throughout, Lloyd Maines' spot-on production helping to ensure the authenticity. Pedal steel shares equal time with muted trombones, adding diversity to material that still stays true to the basic template. One needn't look far to come up with examples - the smoky, atmospheric jazz sound surfacing in Gal from Kitchen's Field, the hillbilly shuffle that underscores Home With My Baby or the revved up, ready to go Link Wray-like rumble that shakes up Deal Gone Down.

Ultimately, each of these songs finds Hancock flirting with influences that embellish his basic designs, while still toying with sounds that take him slightly afield. It's never a distraction though. To the contrary, this "Ride" welcomes those who favor those routes - and the roots - all of which beg to be rediscovered.