When I interviewed Bob Wayne a few months back, he teased us with a few details of a new song he was working on at the time about an Alabama gold miner. On a trip to Sweden a week or so ago, he finally unleashed the song, “Sam Tucker,” on the world, performing it live in a joint called Extreme Foods, which released the video online.
After a little pitch for the store, Wayne gets things going with his acoustic guitar, a standup bass and a fiddle. The song is one of those storytelling tunes that Wayne is so good with. He sets up the tale of Tucker with a little spoken word intro that gives listeners some background, then roars into of those manic, punk and metal influenced, but still undeniably country, high speed choruses as the miner digs his gold and makes his fortune.
After that, he formally introduces us to Sam Tucker, “an ornery motherfucker,” and as the song winds on, the subject decides he’s going to go down by the creek in Alabama and find Sam Tucker’s stash of gold, since the old miner never cashed in before he died. Wayne gives his fiddle player a chance to saw a little bit before he sets off on the journey. As one might expect, the ghost of Tucker is hanging around waiting on folks to come try and take his gold, and things don’t go very well from there. The song ends in an evolved version of that chorus he gave us in the beginning.
The vengeful and greedy ghost certainly isn’t a new idea in country music, but Tucker holds his own against the likes of Charlie Daniels’ Lucius Clay and even Cash’s infamous ghost riders. It’s all delivered with the wild-eyed energy that we’ve become accustomed to from Bob Wayne’s rowdier moments, and the song is sure to join similar tracks like “Ghost Town,” “Lyza” and “Driven by Demons” as fan favorites.
No word yet on when the tune might be included on a new record from Wayne, but this little tease definitely makes me look forward to it, whenever it arrives.