Wayne Hancock Slingin' Rhythm Album Art
| BS 249

Slingin' Rhythm

Deluxe 180-gram vinyl LP comes with digital download card

Slingin’ Rhythm is just right, a finely honed, day-in-the-life brand of juke joint rhythm sitting in the sweet spot of American music invention between country, hillbilly, jazz and western swing.

Full Description

 Slingin’ Rhythm is just right, a finely honed, day-in-the-life brand of juke joint rhythm sitting in the sweet spot of American music invention between country, hillbilly, jazz and western swing

And while “The Train” is indeed a throwback, the funny thing is, the more retro he gets, the fresher he sounds. His songs about the everyday and the everyman, with their driving pulse and live-in-the-moment vibe, have a character and passion that go beyond a particular time.

Even though it’s been over three years since his last album, Ride, no grass has grown under Wayne’s boots—he’s on the road 200 days a year. Slingin’ Rhythm, with its emphasis on off-the-cuff instrumental interplay and extended soloing, Wayne and his band drive down the centerline between tight and loose. Like a latter day Bob Wills, spontaneously calling out encouragement, or Hank Sr and Ernest Tubb effortlessly knocking out smile-through-the-pain honky-tonk, Wayne “The Train” Hancock delivers an unvarnished, BS-free restorative.

When it comes to classic trope of the murder ballad, the subject is often spoken through metaphor or deeply formalized imagery. Not so with Wayne. He gets to the point in “I Killed Them Both” with a chilling bluntness that’d make Johnny Paycheck nod with approval. The thing is, though, you might miss the tragedy at first because that bouncy back beat will have you on the dance floor. On the languid lament “Dog Day Blues” you can feel the sweat rolling down the back of your neck. The attention to detail in “Small Bouquet of Roses” paints a distinct picture of heartbreak.

Wayne teamed up once again with his producer-for-life Lloyd Maines (Terry Allen, Uncle Tupelo, Dixie Chicks, Ray Wylie Hubbard) and recorded on the fly, never doing a song the same way twice. That’s what gives Slingin’ Rhythm its relentless energy—and with a band this killer, you’ve got to let them off the leash. “2 String Boogie” and Merle Travis’s “Divorce Me C. O. D.” bounce along on crisp, jazzy guitar licks, referencing masters like Chet Atkins and Hark Garland right up through the neo-retro scenesters like Deke Dickerson. And the loungy Texas swing in “Wear Out Your Welcome” and the instrumental “Over Easy” freshens up the template laid out by the great Texas Playboy steel player Leon McAuliffe.

As always, Wayne writes what he knows with the clarity and honesty of a door slam. Like the title track, both a tenacious statement of purpose and a straight-up, no-chaser bio, says:

“I love the road and my plans are never to retire, and anyone who says that I will is nothin’ but a liar…cuz that’s how I make my livin’, slingin’ rhythm”

Short Description
  • As long as Hancock lives up to his promise in the title track, the heart of country music will remain firmly beating on the two and four.

    — Popmatters
  • He’s still making music that is impossible not to enjoy, and can turn any non-country fans into a devout Hancock supporter.

    — New Noise Magazine
  • Hancock is no less spirited than he's ever been, and his tales of busted romances, life on the road, and uncomfortable weather have his trademark degree of spunk, heart, and rough and tumble wit.

    — Allmusic
  • He has honed these new songs like a razors edge; and the time is finally right for another dose of good time, Juke-Joint, Hill-billy, Swing with assorted love songs for good measure.

    — Rocking Magpie
  • The entire album...features a hefty serving of tasty fretwork from guitarists whose contrasting but equally rootsy styles come together to create pure magic...referencing Chet Atkins and Hark Garland right on up through Deke Dickerson.

    — Guitar World
  • Nodding to Bob Wills with its bouncy Western swing tempo, 'Slingin' Rhythm' lets Hancock spell out the inherent joys and struggles of those who feel called to perform. 

    — Rolling Stone

Track List

  1. Slingin' Rhythm
  2. Dirty House Blues
  3. Killed Them Both
  4. Wear Out Your Welcome
  5. Two String Boogie
  6. Over Easy
  7. Small Bouquet of Roses
  8. Divorce Me C.O.D.
  9. Dog Day Blues
  10. Love You Always
  11. Thy Burdens Are Greater Than Mine
  12. Slingin' Rhythm Intro


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