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Wayne Hancock - Swing Time

  by Geraint Jones

published: 6 / 12 / 2003

Wayne Hancock - Swing Time
Label: Bloodshot
Format: CD


Impressive, irrestible old-style country from Bloodshot recording artist Wayne Hancock, recorded live over two nights earlier this year at Austin's legendary Continental Club

'Swing Time' was recorded live earlier this year over two nights at Austin’s legendary Continental Club, but if you’d never heard of Wayne Hancock it could just as easily have been recorded fifty years ago. As far as Hancock is concerned there’s been virtually no music of real worth recorded since 1960 and he’s supposedly not even listened to the radio for the best part of twenty years. In case you were wondering he’s not some veteran of a bygone age. Wayne Hancock is 38. So it’s a blinkered approach and I suppose somewhat reactionary too, but it’s damned hard to resist for all that. Arguably his impressive band might be just a bit too tight for some and for a live album it is found lacking if you’re looking for a wart’s ‘n’ all approach. That’s’ not to say there are any overdubs – this band are so good mistakes simply aren’t in their vocabulary or if they are, they cover up with such aplomb that even Sherlock Holmes couldn’t spot them. You could argue that live albums aren’t necessarily the best way to introduce yourself to a new audience. And if I was a fan I’d baulk slightly at its length – the single disc set was compiled from more than 3 hours of material, so a double set or at least utilising the space available would have improved things– it’s a few minutes shy of an hour and could easily have been augmented with a couple more songs at least and some between song banter to help recreate some of the atmosphere that must have been there on the nights in question. But really, these are minor gripes, for on the whole ‘Swing Time’ is a very solid, at times, irresistible set. Tear-stained, beer-sodden, hell-raisin’, road-burnin’ rockabilly infused honky-tonk has found a real and genuine champion in Wayne Hancock. Often, erroneously in my view, pigeon-holed with the alt country movement (whatever that is?), Wayne Hancock is a proud purveyor of real and authentic country music, the kind which Nashville has tragically long-forgotten put it on the map in the first place. The only way anyone could fail to be inspired to leap around the room by showstopper ‘Flatland Boogie, were if their feet were nailed to the floor. Hidden at the end and providing some stylistic contrast is a sublime rendering of George Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’ which also features Hancock’s sister Rebecca Snow on sultry vocals. Simply stated, ‘Swing Time’ is cookin’.

Track Listing:-
1 Lose Your Mind
2 Louisiana Blues
3 Big City Good Time Gal
4 Juke Joint Jumpin'
5 Thunderstorms & Neon Signs
6 Johnny Law
7 Tag Along
8 Route 66
9 Highway 54
10 We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me)
11 Hoy Hoy Hoy
12 Walkin' The Dog
13 Flatland Boogie

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