Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April trains, Wayne the Train

A few photos from what we've seen and done out along the tracks during the month of April...

M practices a balancing act on some surplus rail sections...

UP 6936 leads an officers' special south out of Denton on April 5.

A "Star Wars" themed moniker on a tank car west of Weatherford.

UP 7829 climbs upgrade on the Baird Sub at Preble.

Never too busy for a self-portrait... Whiskey on the UP Baird Subdivision on April 13.

Some aggressive high-speed driving yielded this view of UP 7829 approaching Judd on the UP Baird Sub.

Wayne Hancock at Dan's Silverleaf - April 26

I've seen Wayne"the Train" Hancock more times than I can count, but he never disappoints. Last Saturday night after work, I hurried up to Denton to catch his show at Dan's Silverleaf.

I was glad to see that Wayne had found another steel guitar player. He has been without one since the departure of Eddie Rivers, who is now with Asleep at the Wheel. Wayne announced that the new guy, Tony Locke, has performed with him in the past, but not for several years. This was his first show since joining the band on a full-time basis. At times, he seemed to be a little "out of sync" with the rest of the guys, but still did a good job.

Wayne Hancock & his band at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton TX - April 26
In addition to numerous Hancock originals ("Highway 54", "Tulsa","Kansas City blues"), Wayne and the boys threw down a number of covers such as Hank Thompson's "6-pack to go", Johnny Horton's "Honky tonk man", and Johnny Cash's "Big river." And of course they included a handful of obligatory Hank Williams covers such as "Lost highway", "Your cheatin' heart", and "Lovesick Blues".
It's fun to see the reactions of folks in the crowd who have never been to a Wayne Hancock show before. One guy standing near me was excitedly telling his friends how Wayne sounded "just like he does on the cd" but didn't look anything like what he had imagined. (He was expecting "some old guy with a beard".) And a couple of older women were amazed at the voice they heard coming from the guy on stage with the slicked-down hair, rolled-up jeans and Chuck Taylor high-tops. "He sounds just like Hank Williams!" one of them squealed. Indeed.
Huck Johnson, Wayne Hancock, Tony Locke, Eddie Biebel

Wayne likes to make sure the rest of the band works as hard as he does, and he gave steel player Tony and guitarist Eddie Biebel plenty of opportunities to show their stuff as they cranked out lengthy solos during many of the songs. Wayne just stood off to the side of the stage and grinned as Tony and Eddie dueled back and forth with their solos. The solos during "Kansas City Blues" lasted so long, I forgot what song they were doing! Even bassist Huck Johnson got to pound out a few short solos on his upright bass.
Famous for playing up to (or even past) closing time, Wayne was threatening to leave the stage early... he and the band had a long drive ahead of them the next day for "Bob Wills Day" in Turkey (about 3/4 of the way to Amarillo). But when 2 a.m. rolled around, they were still on stage, giving the fans every last dollar's worth until the sound man turned on the house lights and asked everyone to leave. Fun times!
Check him out if you get a chance...

np: Townes Van Zandt - "Darcy Farrow"

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