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Viper of Melody


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Audio CD, April 21, 2009
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Wayne Hancock "Thunderstorms and Neon Signs"

Biography

Since his stunning debut, Thunderstorms and Neon Signs in 1995, Wayne “The Train” Hancock has been the undisputed king of Juke Joint Swing--that alchemist’s dream of honky-tonk, western swing, blues, Texas rockabilly and big band. Always an anomaly among his country music peers, Wayne’s uncompromising interpretation of the music he loves is in fact what defines him: ... Read more in Amazon's Wayne Hancock Store

Visit Amazon's Wayne Hancock Store
for 12 albums, 6 photos, videos, and 41 full streaming songs.


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 21, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bloodshot Records
  • ASIN: B001SNXSSO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,080 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Jump the Blues
2. Driving My Young Life Away
3. Viper of Melody
4. Throwin' Away My Money
5. Your Love and His Blood
6. Working at Working
7. Moving on No. 3
8. Tropical Blues
9. Dog House Blues
10. High Rolling Train
11. Midnight Stars and You
12. Freight Train Boogie
13. Lonesome Highway

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2009 release from the Alt-Country favorite. Viper Of Melody is a deft proclamation of Wayne the Train's unwavering belief in the curative energy of juke joint swing. Man, there ain't no problem that can't be salved by his brand of stripped down, intensely rhythmic amalgam of Hillbilly Swing, Honky Tonk, Rockabilly and Hep-Cat Boogie. It's an infectious and unpretentious sound that tells quotidian tales of driving your life away, throwing your money away, and having holes in your roof and holes in your shoes. Even when he sings on the hard times like "the rich folks call it recession, but the poor folks call it depression" in 'Workin' at Workin'', it's done with a big smile and the dance floor is still full,

Review

It sounds as if Wayne Hancock has been around forever. But to get your mind around that, it's first necessary to grasp the notion of timelessness. Timelessness is this essential rightness, like the sound a slapped bass makes, or hearing a butter-smooth voice shout out a player's name, sparking a solo turn during a tune that swings so hard you almost flinch. The sound is country in essence, but you'll also hear some hot jazz, some blues, even a little rock snarl. But it's all just ... well ... right. --Chicago Tribune

Road-tested, world-weary, but unbowed, Hancock and his band have turned their historical fascinations into comfort music: dwelling on the past as a balm for surviving the present. --Blurt

Gives the finger to modern country and all of that VH1-courting, crossover-appeal horse pucky. Touted by none other than Hank Williams III for capturing the cowboy spirit of Hank Williams Sr. better than either of his namesakes, Hancock is one of those rare artists who seem to have developed a knack for musical time travel. His lovely, lazy style of old-school Western swing so authentic, you'll be seeing in black and white and hearing in mono. --DC Decider

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
This is just great country music!
S. O'Brien
It will probably become the favorite CD of your lifetime.
WH Superfan
Wayne Hancock and his band are Amazing!
Brian Card

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By The Delite Rancher VINE VOICE on April 28, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Viper of Melody" is a welcome addition to the growing catalog of Wayne Hancock. This album features that great Hank Williams infused twang that we've come to love. Highlights include 'Jump the Blues' and 'Dog House Blues' which is sure to be a live sparkler. 'Your Love and His Blood' is written in the style of the murder ballads from the 1930s. While harking back to the great depression, 'Working at Working' is a song we can all relate to during these uncertain times. "Viper of Melody" easily fits into the rest of Hancock's discography. Every now and then Wayne mixes things up a little with a dash of Dixieland or Jazz. In contrast, "Viper of Melody" is back to the basics Juke Joint with steel guitar (Anthony Locke), upright bass (Huckleberry Johnson), electric guitar (Izak Zaidman) and Wayne on acoustic guitar. Thematically, this album also aligns with the rest of his work featuring tunes about unemployment, lost love and traveling. Vipers were reefer enthusiasts in the 1920s. The title fits because "Viper of Melody" is smokin'!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steve Ramm TOP 50 REVIEWER on April 29, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Wayne's name is all over the package - and he wrote all the songs and sings lead, so that's probably right. BUT, there are three other guys here too and they are as much a part of its rockin' success as Hancock. He shouts out their names - Izak, Tony, and Huckleberry - in the opening track, "Jump The Blues", and gives them solos. Those solos continue through the other 12 songs. This is not "country" as another reviewer pointed out. Hancock was born and raised in Texas - Austin area I think, but not sure - and grew up with mentors like Joe Ely and Robert Earl Keen. (They certainly aren't country.). Think Western Swing and Honky Tonk and you get the idea.

Put this on while you are working around the house and see if you don't start working faster! This music is contagious.

I'm not a huge fan of Hancock's voice - a bit to high for me - but there's no denying that he rocks out and that's what makes this CD so much fun.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timothy O. Glazner on February 1, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I am a fan and was anxious to hear the new release. I was dissappointed. There is just something off here. It's like they recorded the songs at 4:30 AM after a long night. I wished I could turn a knob and speed the tempo up 10%. It just sort of drags. The playing is good and all, but it does not have the energy and vitality of his previous recordings. I hear the same of the new Big Sandy release. I know they are friends. Did they get the same producer or studio that dragged them both down?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. O'Brien on April 18, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Wayne Hancock has never put out a bad album yet. Love the songs "Movin On", "Dog House Blues", Throwin Away My Money", "Drivin My Young Life Away", "Your Love & His Blood". This is just great country music!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By WH Superfan on June 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD
All of Wayne Hancock's CDs have gotten more listener enjoyable since his first release in 1995. The melodies and band guitars keep improving.
Viper of Melody CD is by far the very best WH recording ever. All of the songs are enjoyable, a few are much better than enjoyable, and two are so outstanding that they should become country classics (High Rolling Train & Lonesome Highway). If these two were recorded by anyone with lots of radio airplay, they would be #1 on charts.
If you're a WH fan, or if you would like to experience fabulous country music, order this album. It will probably become the favorite CD of your lifetime.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
And where did he go? Never made it to mainstream country radio, which only demonstrated where THEY are at, Wayne and his band are the living embodiment of Hank Sr. with a whole lot of their own style and personality. I understand Wayne changes up his band (especially on tour) but this record is like fresh nostalgia and swings hard.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Heard the first song of this album on 89.3 the current and had to have it. Love this style of music.
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