press release: 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.
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.