Wayne Hancock, Tulsa
A country traditionalist continues to ignore the 21st century — to marvelous effect.
At the peak of country's outlaw movement, Waylon Jennings cut "Bob Wills Is Still the King," revealing that within his contrarian exterior abided a deep devotion to the country tradition. But if Waylon thought the sheen of Music City was odious in the '70s, Wayne "the Train" Hancock ain't having none of the last half-century of the shit. Call him anachronistic, even a Luddite, but he still believes that Bob Wills reigns supreme. For Tulsa, his first studio record since 2001, Hancock even emulates Wills 'fondness for Oklahoma on the ebullient title track, hollering "awwww, Leroy" before his crack band takes it away. A dead-on stylist, the Train also bellers like Hank Williams, Sr., on "Drinkin 'Blues" and "No Sleep Blues," but makes sure to amalgamate these country music pillars with dashes of Gershwin and rockabilly. Tulsa suggests that Hancock is mighty comfortable living outside of both the law and the 21st century.