Wayne “the Train” Hancock is one hell of a consistent son-of-a-gun. Since his critically acclaimed debut Thunderstorms and Neon Signs way back in 1995, this Texas troubadour has continued to play and record traditional roots music with a fiery authenticity that embraces all that has gone before without lapsing into pastiche. With a tight band and a lively set of original tunes recorded over two-and-a-half days, Tulsa, “the Train”‘s fifth album and third for Bloodshot, delivers a country stew of scorching western swing with a blast of honky-tonk blues that paints pictures as bright as any flashing juke-joint sign about the hard-drinking, high times to be found travelling along the famous strip of two-lane blacktop known as Route 66. On such beer soaked pearls as “Drinkin’ Blues”, “Highway Bound”, and “Goin’ to Texas When I’m Through”, flourishes of clarinet, trombone, and Hawaiian steel accompany Hancock’s lone-star drawl, even breaking into a heart-rending yodel on “Goin’ Home Blues”. Pure swing-time bliss.
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