The music business is full of misconceptions. For proof of this, you need look no further than the case of Waylon Albright Jennings. Being the son of Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, many assume that “Shooter,” as he goes by, is nothing more than a hillbilly smart-ass outlaw.
Well, Jennings does have a wicked sense of humor – which he does come by naturally (If you’ve never heard his father’s “Living Legends Are A Dyin’ Breed”, you need to. You will smile a million smiles before it’s done!). But, anyone who claims Colter for a mother has to have somewhat of an angelic presence. After all, she’s about as close to one that has ever recorded in Nashville.
So, good guy or bad ass? Ah, such are the debates of life. Well, there is a little bit of both, but I will go on record by telling you that Shooter Jennings is one of the nicest artists I have ever talked to. He is a class act, pure and simple. Yes, he turns his guitar up loud, which on such songs as “4th Of July,” which was one of the best singles of 2005, is a very good thing. But, he is one of the coolest hillbilly rockers I have ever been around, and he has a ton of respect for those that have gone on before – and not just the “outlaws” that frequented the Jennings household growing up.
When I interviewed him for his The Wolf album back in 2007, I asked him about the track, “Slow Train,” in which he was joined by the Oak Ridge Boys. He told me that he carried Duane Allen’s phone number around for a few days before he got the nerve to call him about the Oaks appearing on the cut. Folks, I have heard the term “Bad Ass” passed around too much over the years, but to me, that’s the definition. But, it gets better. In 2010, the Oaks recorded The Boys Are Back, a disc produced by Jennings collaborator Dave Cobb. The title cut was a shortened musical biography of the Oaks – and who wrote the cut? Yep, you guessed it – Shooter Jennings. And, if you have ever heard it, he knows his history, even name checking Oaks founder Wally Fowler in the song.
Jennings is a tough sell for radio. He doesn’t fit in that 4+6 box, and that is the last thing he would ever want to do. But, let me say this, radio has missed out. Whether it be “4th Of July,” his cover of “Walk Of Life,” or his recent “The Deed And The Dollar,” this guy is deserved of any musical attention he gets!
#Twangout with Shooter Jennings on Country Music Chat #CMchat Wednesday October 10, 2012 5-5:30pm PT right here on CMchatLIVE.com!