First Appeared at The Music Box, September 2003, Volume 10, #9
Written by T.J. Simon
Wayne "The Train" Hancock’s four studio albums contain more than enough material for a rich "Best Of" compilation. Instead, the retro-country/rockabilly crooner chose to collect many of his best moments on Swing Time, a live album recorded in March 2003 at his home base — The Continental Club in Austin, Texas. For readers unfamiliar with Hancock’s sound, take the voice of Hank Williams, Sr., the music of Sun Records-era Johnny Cash, and add a dash of Bob Wills’ Western Swing, and you are in the ballpark.
Swing Time, like all Hancock’s studio albums, was produced by Lloyd Maines, the father of unlikely counter-culture hero, Dixie Chick Natalie Maines. As a true rockabilly country traditionalist, Hancock records without a drummer, but you’d hardly notice it as the slappin’ on the upright, doghouse bass provides plenty of rhythm on stompers like Juke Joint Jumpin’ and Big City Good Time Gal. Other highlights include his originals (Flatland Boogie and Johnny Law) as well as Hancock’s take on the classic Route 66 and George Gershwin’s Summertime. (The latter appears as a hidden track sung as a duet with Hancock’s sister Rebecca Snow). In other words, there’s absolutely nothing to dislike on this crystal-clear recording of a honky-tonk hero at the top of his game.
Swing Time is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box