Wayne Hancock is going to give you a constant record every time out, without a doubt. “Slingin’ Rhythm” is no exception as he hammers out classic honky tonk with a virility that suggests he hasn’t been doing this for two decades already.
“Slingin Rhythm” is just downright fun, he takes his standard repertoire and keeps it pretty light and fun here. Even “Killed Them Both” reads as a fun number even though it is exactly as it sounds. The common country theme of catching a cheating women doesn’t end well for her or her back door man here but Hancock spins it with such pride that it is difficult not to view this as a happy tune. On “Two String Boogie” he breaks the fourth wall being very self referential and straight forward. The song is kickin’ it silly talking about breaking strings and keeping the songs going. More humor pops up on “Divorce Me C.O.D.” where Hancock puts forth one of his best vocal performances on the record.
Overall what holds the album together is Hancock’s driving rhythm guitar and the sweet sweet sounds of the humming steel guitar. This album shows what is great about Western Swing and traditional country. It can take on topics that aren’t necessarily the happiest and keep them upbeat with song structure. Hancock is a pro at it and “Slingin’ Rhythm” is great example. This record is a small resurgence for him, not that he has ever made a bad record but it seems this album has more life than some of his past work.
Key tracks: “Killed Them Both” “Slingin’ Rhythm” “Two String Boogie”