Wayne Hancock is a man out of time. Had he been born 40 years earlier, he might have been Central Casting's replacement for the great Hank Williams when he met his maker in 1953. Hancock, with his twangy lonesome croon and his old-school honky-tonk ways, conjures Williams' ghost better than Hank's own kin can.
But Hancock ("Wayne the Train" to his fans) is more than a Hank Sr. karaoke king. His energetic countrybilly and western boogie gather up all the elements (including blues, jazz, swing, and standards) that led up to the arrival of rock and roll in the mid-'50s. While Hancock's sound remains rooted in the pre-Elvis days, he isn't one of those righteous revivalists who ignores songs made in the post-mono era. He covered the Clash's "Brand New Cadillac" a few albums back, giving it a menacing surf-noir twist. However you categorize his sound, Hancock is all about making dancing-and-drinking music. And isn't that what rock and roll is all about?