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From the Country Standard Time Archives

Hancock stays on track

Linda's Doll Hut, Anaheim, Cal., July 6, 1998

By Dan MacIntosh

ANAHEIM, CA - A crowd of hillbillies, rockabillies, punks and hardcore country music fans were tightly packed into Linda's Doll Hu - -sticking as closely together as the bumperstickers lining the insides of the club's walls - to witness timeless troubadour tales of Wayne "the Train" Hancock.

Nobody left disappointed, since Hancock stuck like permanent adhesive to his traditional repertoire; consisting of honky tonk laments, boogie woogie workouts and swinging dance numbers.

Midway through his set, Hancock dusted off the old Hank Williams chestnut "Honky Tonk Blues," and if you closed your eyes, you would have sworn that this was Hank Sr. singing it. It was one of Hancock's many smart cover songs this night. He also raved on "Honky Tonk Man" and "Cow Cow Boogie."

Hancock drew liberally from his own catalogue, including the jumping "Little Lisa" and the Chuck Berry-esque "Johnny Law." All the while, Hancock leaned forward over his acoustic guitar and tore through a set of music as steaming as the room, with only his sheepish grin giving away the fact that he was having a good time.

Backed by the always melodic steel guitar work of Jeremy Wakefield and the extra lead guitar additions of Evan Johns, Hancock's band followed closely behind his lead, like rail cars hitched together on the tracks.

Hancock is truly something special, and on this night it was worth every drop of sweat to see him showcase his unique skills before an appreciative group of fans.