Wayne Hancock: Live Last Night

Live Last Night

"How much did it cost you to come here? Fifteen bucks? I'll make sure you get your money's worth." These were near the first words out of Wayne Hancock's mouth Tuesday night at IOTA. And considering that $15 bought greasers and geezers alike over two hours of "juke joint swing" (Hancock's name for his amalgam of big band and classic country), it's safe to say that Wayne Hancock was the best deal in town.

(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)

Hancock's lengthy set explored every nook and cranny in his considerable career, ranging from Recession anthem "Working at Working" (from newest release "Viper of Melody") to "Poor Boy Blues," penned at the tender age of 15. Blues, lost love, and the open road made up the majority of Hancock's subject matter, but with a thumping rockabilly beat, depressing-titled songs such as "Driving My Young Life Away" and "Your Love And His Blood" sounded downright cheerful.

Though his three piece backing band occasionally tripped over each other as they traded solos, Hancock smoothed over the rough edges with affable and slightly foulmouthed charm. It's not difficult to imagine the forty-something former Marine as a band leader in some east Texas dancehall; if he were born fifty years earlier, songs like pedal steel weeper "Cold Lonesome Wind" and lustful boogie "That's What Daddy Wants" would be spinning on jukeboxes from coast to coast.

Ending the evening with a cover of "My Bucket's Got A Hole in It," Hancock cemented his place as the living heir to Hank Williams' legacy, a role that's readily ceded by his longtime friend and--according to an anecdote told from the IOTA stage--occasional bail-poster, Hank Williams III. Rest assured, country fans: our beloved music is in capable, swingin' hands.


By J. Freedom du Lac |  May 27, 2009; 12:12 PM ET Live Last Night
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awesome show!!! my first time seeing wayne "the train" live. worth every bit of the $15 cover charge. maybe i will drive to richmond of friday.

Posted by: doughless | May 27, 2009 1:52 PM

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