Country musician Wayne Hancock to play Village IdiotWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Country artist Wayne “The Train” Hancock is chugging into Northwest Ohio for a July 1 performance at the Village Idiot.
The distinctively voiced crooner writes most of his tunes. “I just write stuff that makes me feel better about things,” he put it simply in a call from an Econo Lodge in Springfield, Mo.
Hancock began playing the guitar at 11 and writing songs at 12. His family moved around a lot when he was a kid so he counts Idaho, Kansas and Texas as former homes. He now lives by a lake outside of Austin, Texas.
As a child, Hancock’s family had some of Hank Williams’ records, and the youngster was largely influenced by the artist.
“I just love his music. [I] never got tired of listening to it,” Hancock said.
After winning a talent competition at 18, he served in the U.S. Marines for six years. Once he was out of the service, he played several gigs before deciding to move to Austin in the ’90s to try to make it big. His first album, “Thunderstorms and Neon Trees” came out in 1995, followed by another in 1997. His latest album, “Viper of Melody,” was released in 2009.
Now “six or seven albums” later, Hancock will release another this year with Bloodshot Records in Chicago.
“Can’t even keep track. Ain’t that pathetic?” he said with a laugh.
To save some cash, he plans to record the album within two days in July, meaning about seven songs per day.
“All that money you have to pay that back (for recording). That’s a lot of do re mi,” he said. His frugalness also extends to his hotel choices.
“As long as there’s not blood stains on the wall; I’ve stayed at places that have actually had that,” said Hancock, who added that he enjoys life on the road.
Concertgoers can expect more of that practicality and sense of humor at Hancock’s Village Idiot show.
“We don’t play a lot of super-slow songs,” he said of his three-piece band. “I like my music to be as lively as I am.”
Hancock is still influenced by Williams and has used steel guitar in most of his work as his idol did. His new album, however, may use less.
“There’s steel guitar on every damn thing I’ve been putting out,” he said. Still, Hancock fuses his past loves with a passion for swing.
“I like swing. I like western swing, anything that swings, I really like it, and I put that together with things I liked growing up,” he said.
Hancock’s show is 8 p.m. July 1 at The Village Idiot, 309 Conant St., Maumee. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit www.waynehancock.com.