Music Preview: Wayne Hancock at Iota

Sunday, May 10, 2009

May 26 at Iota

(, 703-522-8340)

With his grueling concert schedule and extensive library of songs detailing life on the open road, Wayne Hancock might just be a modern-day version of Hank Williams's ramblin' man. His sound is equal parts classic honky-tonk, big band and prewar jazz, an irresistible combination that the 44-year-old Hancock terms "juke joint swing." Wayne the Train, as he's known to fans and friends alike, is also a spellbinding performer, having honed his skills during 15 years of nonstop touring. He's transferred the energy from his live shows into new release, "Viper of Melody." Produced by fellow Texan Lloyd Maines, "Viper" transports you into a smoky roadhouse as Hancock channels Bob Wills, calling each band member out for swingin' solos set to the nonstop rhythm of dog-house bass. Whether the topic is money ("Workin' at Workin' ") or murder (the surprisingly catchy "Your Love and His Blood"), Hancock captivates. Vintage never sounded so good, or so danceable.

-- Juli Thanki

© 2009 The Washington Post Company