A couple of years ago Wayne "The Train" Hancock was on anti-depression medication -- and, he acknowledges, other mood enhancing substances.
Then he bought a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which the rootsy Texas singer-songwriter says not only helped make him healthier but also inspired his upcoming new album, "The Ride."
"I joined an MC (motorcycle club) 'cause I found riding motorcycles was better for me than taking all these meds for my depression," says Hancock, 47, who co-produced "Ride" with Lloyd Maines. "I started riding and got off the meds I was on and quit drinkin' and quit smokin' reefer and starting writing music again. And I met a lot of different people, which opened up my world quite a bit.
"So 'Ride,' the title song, is about my motorcycle and riding. The road has always been a place that I can go and get my thoughts together. Everything I write has to do wtih being on the highway. I love it out there."
But, Hancock notes, the album -- which comes out Feb. 26 -- could also have been called "I Miss My Wife," and it's chock full of songs inspired by the couple's separation as he started making it. "I don't think riding a motorcycle cost me my marriage -- I just don't think I was meant to be married to anybody," Hancock says. But he managed to find some creative gain from the pain.
"When I write songs I tend to write about the situation that I'm in," he notes. "But I try to find a happy point in that. Even if I have to lose, I set it to some happy-go-lucky music and see if I can't find some optimism even in the darkest hours."
Wayne "The Train" Hancock and Todd May perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Callahan's Music Hall, 2015 South Blvd., Auburn Hills. Tickets are $17.50 and $12.50 Call 248-858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.
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