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.