Wayne "The Train" Hancock
Wayne "The Train" Hancock isn't one of those alt-country stars to whom roots-music fans turn for the red-blooded emotion so many tin-eared grouches insist is missing from Nashville-produced radio fodder. On A-Town Blues
, Hancock's most recent studio album, Hancock sings, "I'm sorry, darlin', that I hurt you so/I don't wanna hear you cry, so I'll just tell you goodbye"; we believe him -- a weeping-willow slide guitar underlines the sentiment -- but we've also gotten more warmth from a Radiohead record. Instead, what Hancock offers is a pastiche of dynamic, if outmoded, country styles. Hancock calls his microbrew "juke-joint swing," a handle we have no problem accepting. He starts from a foundation of traditional Bob Wills-style western swing, but piles all kinds of stuff on top: hard-edged honky-tonk guitar, big-band brass reports, jazz-club bass grooves. On Saturday, the Beachland is likely to be rocking. Definitely bother knocking.