‘Wayne Hancock has more Hank Williams in him than me,” claims the honky-tonk hero’s grandson Hank III. And while the DNA tests may prove inconclusive, there’s no lack of evidence that Wayne “The Train” Hancock has the legendary singer-songwriter’s music coursing through his veins.
With a body of work that invokes the timeless spirit of raucous roadhouse, broken bottles and cheating hearts, the Dallas native can be justifiably proud of the countless Hank Williams comparisons he’s earned since the release of his 1995 debut album, Thunderstorms and Neon Signs. But he also counts Fats Waller, Johnny Horton and even Gene Krupa among his influences. And then there are his liaisons with the idiosyncratic “Lubbock Mafia,” a loosely knit collection of alt-country geniuses that includes Terry Allen, Joe Ely and Hancock’s long-time producer Lloyd Maines.
Through it all, the fiercely independent artist has continued to play as many as 200 dates a year, living proof that you don’t have to sell your soul to sell out your shows.