There’s a timeless quality to what Wayne “The Train” Hancock” does with his voice and a guitar.
His latest album, Ride, is another musical yarn spun with longtime collaborator Lloyd Maines and released on Bloodshot Records.
Between the steady clack of the guitar and a trailing whine of the slide guitar, Hancock weaves a tale of heartache that crushes out the embers of a burned-out love between here and Austin.
Hancock is throwing what he’s calling a “homecoming party” at 11:30 p.m. Friday at Dan’s Silverleaf — which makes him one of the most sought-after acts on the second day of 35 Denton, the four-day downtown Denton music festival. By homecoming, Hancock means to pay tribute to the Denton venue that keeps him coming back — Dan’s Silverleaf.
Ride is righteously retro without feeling overcooked — Hancock looks the part of his juke-joint swing king with slicked-back hair, pinup tats and rolled-up shirt sleeves. Vocally, Hancock is more Gene Autry than Muddy Waters, narrating his songs in a soft drawl. His guitar is more Chuck Berry than Elvis, and yet some of the tracks on Ride tip a worn hat to the King. “Low Down Blues” could work itself into a medley with “You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog.” And “Deal Gone Down” recalls Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.”
In all, Hancock’s latest is a Western-styled expedition through the ups and downs of a single life and a singular love. Hancock is well booked on Friday between the danger folk of Denton’s Hares on the Mountain, the dust-covered vulnerability of Denton’s Danny Rush and the Designated Drivers and label-mate Scott Biram’s gritty voice and hollow-body 1959 Gibson.
Sounds like: Bobby McGee never did get over Peggy Sue giving the ring back at the ill-fated barn dance, and still celebrates her birthday with lots of whiskey and Chuck Berry.
Details: Wayne Hancock plays at 11:30 p.m. Friday at Dan’s, 103 Industrial St. 35 Denton wristbands cost $65 for full festival admission, $45 for one day. Buy wristbands online at http://bit.ly/Vwzrkv or at the festival entrance. For a full festival schedule, visit www.littledtx.com .
— Lucinda Breeding