Wayne "The Train" Hancock Is Heading West (June, 2024)

From the moment Wayne Hancock burst onto the scene with his debut album, “Thunderstorms and Neon Signs”, in 1995, he has held the title of the undisputed king of Juke Joint Swing. 

Hancock’s unique blend of honky-tonk, western swing, blues, Texas rockabilly, and big band creates an alchemist’s dream of musical styles. His sound, while steeped in tradition, never feels “retro”; it’s bare bones but bone-shaking, hardcore yet swinging. Wayne Hancock embodies the genuine, house-rocking, hillbilly boogie that is as timeless as the comfortable crackle of a Wurlitzer 45 jukebox. 

His uncompromising interpretation of the music he loves sets him apart from other artists. As AllMusic.com describes, “Hancock, who tosses out a roots mix of old country, roadhouse blues, western dance swing, boogie bop, and straight-up rockabilly, takes what was once old and makes it seem like it’s always been and always will be.” 

Growing up, Hancock moved around frequently due to his father’s career as a design engineer. This nomadic childhood, coupled with the diverse record collection of his parents, sparked his early interest in music. By twelve, Hancock was already writing songs, drawing inspiration from the likes of Jimmie Rodgers, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, and Hank Snow. 

At eighteen, after winning the Wrangler Country Showdown contest, Hancock joined the United States Marine Corps, serving for four years. It was during a deployment at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan, that he penned one of his most famous songs, "Cold Lonesome Wind." 

In 1990, Hancock made his way to Austin, Texas, where he met Joe Ely at the Continental Club. This meeting led to Hancock's involvement in Terry Allen and Jo Harvey Allen's play, "Chippy". Ely recommended Hancock, saying, “This guy sounds just like Hank Williams, he'd be perfect,” and Hancock soon found himself cast in the role of Mr. Jukebox. 

During his performances in "Chippy", Hancock caught the attention of Grammy Award-winning producer and pedal steel player Lloyd Maines. Maines, impressed by Hancock's authenticity, produced his debut album, “Thunderstorms and Neon Signs". The album immediately established Hancock as a force in the music industry. His sophomore album, "That’s What Daddy Wants", continued his rise, featuring a high-energy mix that defied easy categorization. Hancock and Maines have teamed up on ten more albums since then that has solidified Wayne Hancock as a towering figure in the realm of American Roots music. 

Wayne Hancock was awarded the Honky Tonk Male Artist of The Year at the 2014 Ameripolitan Awards and the Rockabilly Male Artist of The Year in 2016. 

His disdain for slick, commercial country music is well known. As Hancock himself puts it, “Man, I’m like a stab wound in the fabric of country music in Nashville. See that bloodstain slowly spreading? That’s me.” 

Hancock’s influence has reached far and wide, with Hank Williams III recording three of Hancock’s songs on his album Risin’ Outlaw and saying "Wayne Hancock has more Hank Sr. in him than either I or Hank Williams Jr. He is the real deal.” 

Slug Magazine aptly puts it, “The country music scene could do with a lot more characters like Wayne, who push the music’s limits while staying truer to its roots than any well-known names associated with the genre today.” Wayne "The Train" Hancock is not just a throwback; he’s a living testament to the enduring power of authentic, high-energy country music.” 

Wayne Hancock has earned his nickname through marathon-length shows and a relentless touring schedule. The Train is about to pull out of the station and hit the road again beginning June 12 along with Sebastien Bordeaux on Double Bass and Vocals, Zachary Sweeney on Telecaster Guitar and Slim Parker on Jazzbox Guitar. 

I have seen about a dozen Wayne Hancock shows over the years and highly recommend it if you are in the vicinity of any of the cities listed below: 

June 12 at Vultures in Colorado Springs, CO 

June 13 at HQ in Denver, CO 

June 14 at Big B’s Delicious Orchard in Hotchkiss, CO 

June 16 at San Miguel County Fairgrounds in Norwood, CO 

June 19 at Neurolox in Boise, ID 

June 20 at Slim’s Last Chance in Seattle, WA 

June 21 at John Henry’s in Eugene, OR 

June 22 at The Showdown in Portland, OR 

June 23 at Volcanic Theater Pub in Bend, OR 

June 25 at at Ivy Room in Albany, CA 

June 26 at Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz, CA 

June 27 at Hopmonk Tavern in Novato, CA

June 28 at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, CA 

June 29 at The Rhythm Room in Phoenix, AZ 


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