Wayne Hancock(from the album Slingin’ Rhythm)

It has been pointed out that it is good to be king though with every reign, the burden becomes how you wear the crown. Wayne Hancock sits on the throne as a benevolent ruler, giving more than he gets, continuing to hand out tasty tracks to the faithful that call the territory of twang home on his recent release, Slingin’ Rhythm. Wayne ‘the Train’ Hancock received the coronation for king of Juke Joint Swing back in 1995 with his album debut (Thunderstorms and Neon Signs). He has held on to a headdress filled in with gems of guitar notes, moving his releases over to Bloodshot Records in 2001 with South Austin Sessions.

When your nickname is ‘The Train’, you kinda raise your own bar every time you plug into an amp. Wayne Hancock counts to four as he opens Slingin’ Rhythm with the title track as the tune gives a history for the man behind the guitar. Wayne is ‘slamming out beats with a five-piece band’, adhering to the traveling musician mantra of the-show-must-go-on as he loses more guitar notes with each lost string, showing that all he needs is an A and E to pump out “Two String Boogie”. Slingin’ Rhythm rarely lets up on the gas pedal that pushes the wheels of Western Swing as the album cruises smooth with “Dirty House Blues”, follows a rapid heart to match its beat in “Love You Always”, bounces with the joyful noise of “Over Easy”, puts Honky Tonk on the dance floor with the slap of an upright bass in “Killed Them Both”, and plucks notes like freshly picked flowers in “A Small Bouquet of Roses”. Wayne Hancock shows no signs of letting go of his crown as he slows to a shuffle with “Dog Day Blues” and sways with the Country wisdom of “The Burdens are Greater Than Mine” as Slingin’ Rhythm lets go of lawyer fees as he pens a letter to lost love, marking the audio envelope “Divorce Me C.O.D.”.

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