Titling his eighth album Ride disguises the fact that Wayne Hancock sounds tired. There are ways to make his musical framework – blues, boogie, rockabilly, and swing – come alive, even if those styles were only new several generations ago. Hancock's proved capable of such moves in the past, but these 11 songs come off repetitive and feel flat out weary. There's literally no difference between "Low Down Blues" and "Get the Blues Low Down," except that the former arrives as a straight cop of Hank Williams' "Lovesick Blues," and the latter plays out as a mere shadow of the local's best, "Thunderstorms and Neon Signs." The LP's saving grace comes from the smart guitar play of Bob Stafford, Eddie Biebel, Tjarko Jeen, and the pedal steel work of Eddie Rivers, all deeply conversant with the different forms of blues. Hancock sounds almost jolly on the simply swaying "Home With My Baby," so maybe further domestication will serve him well. (Wayne Hancock plays the White Horse, Saturday, April 13.)
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