It's Wayne Hancock's fourth CD all told, but the first for his longtime fans here at Bloodshot, and do we ever love it. He possesses one of the most instantly identifiable voices in roots music and wraps it around whacked-out hillbilly barnburners, dusty desert ballads, and Hank Williams meets George Gershwin dance floor warmers. Backing him is a band of blazing hot players who swing like they fell out of the cradle clutching Bob Wills records and Duke Ellington teething rings.
Produced by Lloyd Maines (Wilco, Richard Buckner, Joe Ely, and, yes, the Dixie Chicks), A-Town Blues is loose and live, baby. Pedal steel, guitars, and buckhouse bass--thatís it. No trickery or effects, just the finely honed chops of a band thatís been known to play 200+ dates in a year. They swing through a set of songs that reflect Wayne's scorn for the soulless, pocketbook-driven sounds that ooze out of Nashville; songs that reminisce about old friends and family; songs that sing praises to the road and songs that rue the hazards of hooch. In Wayne's own words: "If you like music that moves and the trash on the radio can't satisfy your wanderlust then try this CD and burn a thousand miles."
"Thereís two reasons you wonít hear him on so-called country stations: heís too good and too uncompromising. In an earlier era, Hancock would have been a top honky-tonk star." San Diego Union-Tribune
"In the end, you donít love Hancock because of past stars of whom he reminds you. You love him because youíd be a durn fool not to." East Bay Express
"Many of the acts that have been dubbed ĎAmericanaí tend to be reverential and dry--not Wayne Hancock, who has a unique gift for taking moribund musical forms and making them spring to life." Hear/Say