Wayne Hancock: Ride

Wayne ‘The Train’ does it again.

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Don’t expect any radical wheel-tampering from Wayne Hancock. Since 1995 the Texan has been doing his old-timey thing like the bastard son of Hank Williams and Gene Vincent. Ride, his eighth album, is pretty much more of the same.

He’s a man who knows his way around a honky-tonk bar, as evinced by the loping beauty of Get The Blues Low Down, all thrumming upright bass, plangent steel and liquid guitar. Hell of a band, too, with the likes of guitarist Bob Stafford and steel player Eddie Rivers given ample room to soothe these pained songs about bad deals, and gals who’ve skipped town.

Classic country tropes abound – truckstops, sawdust bars, the lonesome road to God-knows-where – but Ride’s deft mix of swing, dukin’ blues, rockabilly and boogie-woogie is so expertly rendered that you can’t help but buy it a beer, slap it on the back and give it a man-sized hug.

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.