A welcome throwback to the golden age of country music, Wayne “the Train” Hancock is a yodeling traditionalist who has built a career for himself playing the house-rocking, honky-tonk music that he loves.

Born in 1965 into a family that rarely settled down for long, Hancock started writing songs at the age of 12. Six years later, he was winning songwriting contests. Despite a promising start, Hancock’s musical career took a bit of a detour as he set his guitar down to serve four years in the U.S. Marines.

After his military stint, Hancock got right back to the business of making music. His 1995 debut album, Thunderstorms and Neon Signs, sold 20,000 copies via a relatively small record label; an extraordinary amount for a first time, indie release. It was the beginning of a career defined by solid, soulful songwriting and delivery, near-constant touring, and a die-hard fanbase more than happy to spread the word about their favorite neo-hillbilly hero.

With a voice that slides up about as close to Hank Williams Sr. as one can get, Hancock is an uncompromising example of how to honor the legendary musicians of the past without bringing a shred of “retro” into his music. He manages to exude the warmth, humor, wail and showmanship of a bygone era without seeming like an imitation artist. With each one of Hancock’s seven albums, he has furthered his reputation as a one-of-a-kind, era-transcending singer, songwriter and performer.

An exponent of Western swing, country blues, old-timey, rockabilly, honky-tonk, road-house and classic country, Hancock is a musical diamond in the rough. Shining through the landscape of over-saturated pop country and over-shot retro-billy, Hancock is the real deal.

Wayne “the Train” Hancock plays the Blank Club on Saturday, January 22.

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