REVIEW: Wayne “The Train” Hancock’s “Man of the Road: The Early Bloodshot Years” is Classics for the Open Road


Man of the Road: The Early Bloodshot Years (Bloodshot Records) collects songs from Wayne “The Train” Hancock’s first decade with Bloodshot Records. Pressed to vinyl for the first time ever the songs were pulled from The Train’s Bloodshot releases: A-Town Blues (2001), South Austin Sessions EP (2001), Swing Time (2003), Hard Headed Woman: A Celebration of Wanda Jackson (2004), Tulsa (2006), and Viper of Melody (2009).

“Thunderstorms and Neon Signs,” Hancock’s road dog anthem, is the records initial standout track. It drags the listener onto the road with Hancock as he finds comfort in his love of thunderstorms and, “the warmth of the neon when a bad storm was moving in.” Straight ahead classic country meant for the open road with windows down populates Hancock’s catalogue. Man of the Road kicks off with “Driving my Young Life Away” followed by “Tulsa” and “Man of the Road”. Life on the road has beaten down many a lesser man to next to nothing, but the road seems to infuse Hancock with renewed energy as every mile marker passes. That moving-on attitude shines through in each track sometimes driven on by pedal steel at other times it’s New Orleans horns that push the wheels down the road.

The humor at the heart of existence and one’s life choices dominates “Throwin’ Away My Money” in a way that implies we’ve all thrown our money away on one thing or another – an unexpected upright bass solo rocks out in the middle of this track as well. “Johnny Law” manages to rev up a collection that was already high energy with some electric guitar. Hancock’s story telling takes a dark turn on “Your Love and His Blood,” as he sings, “I’ve got your love and his blood on my hands…if I can’t have your love I’d rather be a wanted man.” “Let’s Have a Party” finds Hancock driving hard into 1950’s era rock-n-roll and acts the perfect closer to an infectious introduction to Wayne “The Train” Hancock for newcomers to the party and a celebration for longtime fans of The Train. Pick up a copy (available on vinyl and via digital download) of Man of the Road today and “let’s have a party tonight!”

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