Thunderstorms and Neon Signs

Thunderstorms and Neon Signs

by Wayne Hancock

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Thunderstorms and Neon Signs

There are moments on Wayne Hancock's debut album, 1996's Thunderstorms and Neon Signs, where you could swear that the risen ghost of Hank Williams had somehow found its way into this sawed-off drifter from Texas; but beyond the unavoidable vocal similarity between Hancock and Williams, what the two really have in common is a heartfelt love of the honky tonk tradition and a real gift for making the style sound fresh and vital. While the spare, mostly acoustic arrangements on Thunderstorms and Neon Signs are clearly modeled on classic country sounds of the '40s and '50s (with a dash of Western swing thrown in, mostly audible in the occasional appearance of horns), Hancock never sounds like he's aiming for a "retro" sound; this is just what he does, he couldn't sound different if he tried, and there's just enough texture in his rough edges and fiery enthusiasm to convince anyone this isn't a pose, but the real thing. Even better, Hancock can write in the classic style with a breezy confidence and a keen eye for the details. If "Juke Joint Jumping" and "She's My Baby" aren't exactly startlingly original, they show Hancock can find fresh inspiration in traditional country frameworks; while the roadside poetry of the title cut really is something special; and "Double A Daddy" may be one of the only great honky tonk tunes about staying on the wagon. Producer Lloyd Maines and a handful of superb pickers give these songs just the right support, but it's Hancock who's the star of this show, and Thunderstorms and Neon Signs shows he's got the guts, sass, and talent to bring honky tonk music back to America's dancehalls, where it belongs.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/07/2000
Label: Ark 21
UPC: 0618681001522
catalogNumber: 810015

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wayne Hancock   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Sue Foley   Guitar
Lloyd Maines   Steel Guitar,Background Vocals
Kevin Smith   Bass
Stan Smith   Clarinet
Herb Steiner   Steel Guitar
Chris Pérez   Background Vocals
Paul Skelton   Acoustic Guitar
Bill Maldonado   Background Vocals
Ricardo Ramírez   Bass,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Lloyd Maines   Producer
Fred Remmert   Engineer
Herb Steiner   Contributor
Chris Pérez   Executive Producer
Steve Wilkison   Artwork
Lisa Glines   Artwork

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