Slingin' Rhythm (Bloodshot)
Reviewed by Tim Stegall, Fri., Nov. 18, 2016
Over 21 years and across 11 LPs, Wayne "The Train" Hancock has played Texas roadhouse country music like it's 1955 and he's Ernest Tubb or Hank Thompson. Rockne-born in Bastrop County, he arrived in Nineties Austin fully formed, distilling his music to its absolute essence. Now Denton-based, he has detractors maintaining it's all one album recorded repeatedly, but it's hard to argue with the great Lloyd Maines again manning the mixing board as Hancock's road band cut two takes tops, not a one sounding identical. Commencing with a title track mission statement ("That's how I make my livin'/ Slingin' rhythm"), he fires off hillbilly boogie about leaving an unkempt home for the road ("Dirty House Blues") and breaking guitar strings onstage ("Two String Boogie"), stopping along the way to essay Merle Travis' "Divorce Me C.O.D." and reel off bouncy steel guitar instrumental "Over Easy." It's all spontaneous, loose, and pure – not a re-tread, but a refinement.