A 2014 motorcycle crash left Wayne “The Train” Hancock with a cracked sternum, fractured elbow, punctured left lung, and multiple broken ribs. “Yeah. I survived,” he relates, with a raspy laugh hinting at decades of cigarettes and open highway. He didn’t give up his 2006 Harley-Davidson Super Glide, though. “I’m still ridin’. I’ve been in a lot of car wrecks, but I’m still drivin’ a car!”
- Monday, April 22, 2019, 8 p.m.
3615 El Cajon Boulevard,
Another round of laughter. In fact, he answered his questions from his car, tooling around somewhere through the vast expanse of his native Texas.
The deep-fried country singer/songwriter, who brings his act to Soda Bar on April 22, grew up listening to Hank Williams Senior, amongst other country greats in his parents’ voluminous record collection. He got a career boost when Hank Sr.’s grandson, Hank III, recorded some of Hancock’s songs, in 1999.
Hancock met the youngest Hank, whom he refers to politely as “Shelton” (Hank III’s real first name) “back in ’96, I think it was,” when the two men shared a publishing company. “I never met his Dad or nothin’. He can be wild, but he’s a mellow guy, for the most part. At least he used to be. I haven’t seen him in eight or nine years.”
The new album Slingin’ Rhythm finds the Train with the band he’s cultivated over the past five years: The man himself on rhythm guitar, vocals, and the songwriting; Bart Weinberg and Greg Harkins on electric guitars; Rose Sinclair on steel guitar, bassist Samuel “Huck” Johnson; and occasional dobro from Lloyd Maines. Still no drums, though. “I don’t really hear it in my sound. Drums are something that just aren’t part of my sound. Pretty much the whole band makes the drum sound, anyway, so we don’t need it.”
Maines, a musician, songwriter, and producer, mans the boards for all of Hancock’s releases. The two men met, oddly enough, putting on a play, with music. “He was playin’ a musician,” Hancock cackles. But he’s been backing it up ever since.
Hancock is also known for his colorful tattoos, including two large, scantily-clad women, one on each arm. He allows that his ink comes from many different places.
“The ones I got on my arms, I got’ em at Kreepy Tiki, Jacksonville. Jacksonville, Florida. Or maybe it’s Fort Lauderdale. If I get it wrong, sue me.”
And one more time, that laugh.