Wayne Hancock (from the album Ride) - Wayne Hancock saddles up Ride with honky tonk gear. The classic form of traditional country tunes glides through the album on the wheels of the title track, with Wayne singing his sweet blues over the chorus as he pushes the needle with the words “ride, ride, ride”. Ride is album number eight for Wayne Hancock, his fifth release for Bloodshot Records. The album sticks to the sound that Wayne eats, sleeps and wears when he gets up each morning. As Wayne has said, his goals are simple and direct, “All I want to do is play the Joints until the day I die”. Ride is a road house record. It rattles with the bass thump of roots rockabilly (“Deal Gone Down”), slides and pops with steel guitar and horn notes playing tag over acoustic guitar rhythms (“Fair Weather Blues”) and moves around the dance floor for some juke joint swing (“Best to Be Alone”).
Wayne Hancock gets his coffee on hepcat style with “Cappuccino Boogie” and yodels for joy over a train track rhythm as he relates the happiness of having no particular place to go in “Home with My Baby”. Ride is honky tonk through and through. By showing loyalty to the genre, Wayne Hancock offers the calling card of a modern day traditionalist. Produced by the capable hands of longtime collaborator Lloyd Maines (Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, Joe Ely, and Dixie Chicks), the two stand by the sound with pride. Ride lets the world know that a night at the local road house will give you an earful of tunes that are blue collar rather than straight up blues. The way the message hits your ears and has your back, the way it helps you feel better knowing that the hard luck tales in the tunes are not only happening in your life and the manner in which the grit sticks to you all match the more traditional take on the Blues.
Wayne Hancock keeps a family tradition alive in his music. Wayne ‘The Train’ Hancock was born in 1965 and began writing songs by age twelve. He took lessons learned from entertaining with family at home to playing in juke joints by the time he was a teen. Ride is Wayne Hancock hitting stride with his songs and his delivery. Like walking through the doors at a favorite watering hole, Ride is a cathartic experience. Wayne sees the album as a more direct and personal telling than previous work, “This album is an organic reaction to life’s challenges – these are not sad songs.” DANNY McCLOSKEY/RA