Shooter Jennings























Shooter Jennings
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Don't let Shooter Jennings fool you. Sure, he rocks. He's lean and wiry, with tattoos snaking up his arms – his mother's name on one, a gun on the other – and a crimson stud gleaming in one ear. He's played sold-out shows at the Viper Room and the Roxy. He's subbed for Axl Rose onstage – twice – with Guns N' Roses. But look a little closer. Underneath that gun are the letters CBCS, for "country boy can survive." That earring turns out to be an eagle silhouette spreadwinged into the letter "W" – an icon known by anyone who has listened to and loved the original outlaw, Waylon Jennings. That same icon is etched onto Shooter's stomach, but the one in his ear is even more special. "My dad got his ear pierced when he was – I swear to God – sixty, because he wanted to be like me," the younger Jennings explains. "This was the earring he wore – and I'm wearing it now." If that's not enough to make it clear that bloodlines run deep from father to son, then check out Shooter's debut album, PUT THE ‘O’ BACK IN COUNTRY. The passion on "Southern Comfort," scraped raw from the walls of some backwoods church … the guitars on "Daddy's Farm," stacked, harmonized and slathered in deep-fried soul … "4th of July," a crank-it-up summer celebration sweetened by a sprinkling of George Jones … the treadshredding, back-road, hairpin spin of "Busted in Baylor County" … and, above all, "Put the 'O' Back in Country," which jabs a finger in the eye of everything that's wrong with America's music today … Hoss, it's country music, the way it ought to be – alive with blood and thunder, spit and spirit and Southern soul. Waylon fought this battle in his own way, back in the day. But the sun has sunk and the shadows have spread deeper across country music since then. And as cowboy poseurs roam this dim and dreary land, Shooter sets it ablaze with an affirmation that country music – real country music – is back. And this time it's not going away. "The main thing I want people to understand is that I'm a country artist," Shooter says. "Sure, there's rock in there. I've played a lot of rock & roll. I take a lot from it. But it's country music. And I'm going to push it as far as I can because it's that important." "I'm rollin' like a freight train, comin' straight at you/I'm playin' hillbilly music, like I was born to do/You know, it ain't country music you've been listenin' to." – "Put the 'O' Back in Country" Waylon Albright Jennings was born rollin'. The only child of Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, he lived his first few years in a crib on his parents' tour bus. "I thought everybody's family was like mine," he remembers. "We'd check out of hotels and travel all night. Songwriting, shows, stage setups, the band, the crew, the bus, the trucks – all that stuff was normal. And I loved it. To this day I sleep better on the bus than anywhere else." Above all, there was the music – though, strange as it seems, Shooter never thought of it as something he himself would ever do. "I remember hearing Dad's band," he says. "They were always great. I loved the way those shows felt, with the colored lights coming on. I can still really see him onstage, starting 'Luckenbach, Texas.' Night after night, I'd watch from the wings. But I never put two and two together, like, 'Maybe I'll get older and do this too.'" Without thinking about it much, Shooter started making music anyway. By age five he was playing drums. Between tours, back in Nashville, he took piano lessons, didn't like them, stopped, then started teaching himself and enjoying it more. He picked up his guitar at fourteen and hasn't put it down since. He and his dad recorded a few things together when they happened to have some microphones set up and the tape recorder plugged in. Then at sixteen he discovered rock & roll. Driven by a sound he heard coming together in his head – something like Lynyrd Skynyrd mutating into Guns N' Roses – Shooter left a couple of years later to seek his fortunes in L.A. "I had to get out of Nashville because I didn't feel it was my place at the time," he explains. "I wanted to get out while I was young. I wanted to play rock, and if I'd tried to do that in Nashville a lot of expectations would have been laid on me. I wasn't comfortable with that, so after I got out of high school, I was gone." In L.A., Shooter assembled a band and named it Stargunn. For six or seven years they tore up the local clubs, built a rabid following, earned raves from the local music press … but something was wrong. "I loved rock," he explains. "I loved its 'f-you' attitude. But that Hollywood thing started to get to me. The more I went to all these crazy Paris Hilton parties, the more I was like, 'Man, this sucks!' I felt like everybody I'd known back in Nashville was looking at me like I was some big Hollywood asshole. I was posing as a rocker – a country guy trying to be something he wasn't." As this sank in, Shooter remembered one of the many lessons of life his father had passed down to him. "The most important thing he ever said to me was, 'Don't ever try to be like anybody else, because you ain't never gonna be.' Then one day I was trying to describe what I wanted in this one song, and I said something about David Alan Coe, and everybody was like, 'Who?' That's when I realized that about 75 percent of my story wouldn't work with this band." On March 30, 2003, Shooter dissolved Stargunn and went to New York City to spend some time with his girlfriend and sort out what he wanted to do next. It took just a few weeks for Fate to show up, as it often does, with an opportunity, in the form of an invitation to play at the House of Blues in May. "I was certainly not ready," he remembers, "but I said yes just to inspire my ass to get a band together and try. We did that show, and it wasn't terrible, but it was enough to pump me up and get me to start writing the songs I wanted to write." Once he had his material together, Shooter went back to L.A., found some musicians who could connect to his true, new sound, dubbed them the 357s, and locked himself into a studio with them. Six weeks later they emerged with Put the ‘O’ Back in Country, a set of rambunctious country that leaves no doubt of where Shooter comes from and where he's going. "In country music I feel completely free to do what I want to do," he insists. "I still get off to a lot of what's going on in rock – the White Stripes are great and so is Velvet Revolver. I almost feel like real rock & roll is more present in country than it is in rock. You wouldn't hear 'Keep Your Hands to Yourself' on rock radio now. It'd be on country radio, because you can't bullshit country fans; they know authentic music when they hear it. And that's what I'm out to do." Not only that – Shooter does it with a sound that's nourished by tradition, that acknowledges his family, and yet is entirely his own. "In my head, I still wish I sounded like a Waylon record from 1978," he laughs. "But I know I sound like myself. I guess that comes from finally doing what I want, even though I'm embracing my heritage too. That's important in country music. Somebody asked me once if it's hard living in my father's shadow. Hell, no – it's great! I love my father's music. In fact, I want a Waylon song on my next record. But PUT THE ‘O’ BACK IN COUNTRY is all me, coming out fast, balls to the wall." Shooter is already on his way, a shooting star on the rise. His duet with Hank Williams, Jr. was a highlight of CMT's Outlaws special in the fall of 2004. "Please Carry Me Home," which he wrote and recorded with his mother for the anthology Music Inspired by the Passion of the Christ, moved Todd Sterling of Country Review to observe that "Shooter has the same soulfulness in his voice as his late father." Meanwhile, his big-screen debut, playing his father opposite Joaquin Phoenix's Johnny Cash, promises to be a highlight of next year's biopic WALK THE LINE. All well and good, but no matter where Shooter Jennings'instincts lead him, PUT THE ‘O’ BACK IN COUNTRY points right to the heart of who he is. "My whole statement is about the music," he insists. "It's about not being afraid to cross any boundaries. It's about freedom. And I know that the people in that little place between New York and L.A. called America will come, as long as the music is real."
Date Venue City State Note
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03/20/2009 - Shooter Jennings Shot Down Velvet Revolver - Read More
03/11/2009 - Shooter Jennings best of coming - Read More
08/28/2008 - Shooter Jennings is a country boy at heart  - Read More
06/27/2008 - Shooter Jennings hits a bullseye at The Beachland Ballroom - Read More
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Average Rating : 0              Total Reviews: 198


Shooter Jennings  03/23/2005            
RachelDarlinton
yall this is truly a big ol clusterfuck of an album. there's no set style, theres little rhythm, and the songs dont grab me like i feel a good album should. the emotion is as hollow as a rotted log and its a bit bland for my taste. o well...
Shooter Jennings  03/22/2005            
Goodtime
There are 2 types of music, good and bad and nothing more. Regardless of whether it's country, rock n roll, soul, jazz, bluegrass, etc... In every aspect of music there are good and there are bad. This just happens to be GOOD! Why? because of the way it makes you feel when you listen, and this album has a good-time feel all over it! You don't need to Merle Haggard, Robbie Robertson, or Dylan to be considered a good songwriter; you don't have to to have a voice like Otis Redding, Vince Gill, or Levon Helm to be good singer, or play like Jorma, Willie, or Waren to be good picker. The point is... though this may be raw, and a little unpolished, a change for the better has happened in music. For once in last decade or more, something has been released that is real! Country music needed a good kick in the ass and I believe this will accomplish just that. Now... lets hope Rock n Roll can find the same resurrection. You know, the Black Crowes are back together!!! However, all in all, Shooter Jennings could be Shooter Johnson for all I care, this is GOOD music!
Shooter Jennings  03/22/2005            
Tsowdsun
What a sound. The lyrics and guitar in "Sweet Savannah" sounds like he was bleeding on that track and will give you the chills while "Steady at the Wheel" which comes right behind it will have your foot pounding and head bobbing not thinking that the two could be on the same album or by the same artist. But that is what makes the album so great, the R-n-R that runs through it and the grounded Country roots. Waylon would be proud.
Shooter Jennings  03/20/2005            
LivinLikeThanksgivin
i really think that too many folks are concerned with what's cool and what's not in Texas Music. The thing that gets me is these damn people latching onto artists because theyre friends with Ragweed, Pat, Cory or whoever. Most of y'all out there can't think for yourselves, and you think if so and so knows so and so then they're cool -- or that if your friends like 'em and you don't,then you're not cool. Take Shooter, daddy was Waylon Jennings, and he's good friends with Ragweed. He can play, as a musician I can't say he lacks talent. Vocal ability is something that won't be discussed, because the greats of our times including Willie and Bob Dylan don't have the best voices, but they're both timeless and brilliant. But where Shooter goes all wrong is with his lyrical content. Not only is the album droll, and lifeless -- the lyrics are simply ordinary. He hasn't taken much of a stance on anything that hasn't been covered before. And if any of these come from personal experience, one would hope that he could find more creative ways to express himself. The album is also a rock album, there's not an ounce of country on it, so the mismarketing is another damning factor. I guess we can only hope he redeems himself in the second album.
Shooter Jennings  03/20/2005            
GrueneHallBabe
Another talentless artist riding the popularity of jumping the Texas Music bandwagon.
Shooter Jennings  03/20/2005            
C'mon now
I have very little to say except that I rocked out to this dude's music this weekend. Shut the hell up - I am glad to hear someone stretch the genre a bit.
Shooter Jennings  03/20/2005            
Ed
How is it that this many people are so passionately against him? Smells like someone with an axe to gring and too much time on his hands.
Shooter Jennings  03/20/2005            
C tha P
He may not have his direction just yet. Many of you have noticed this by the varying styles of the songs on the album. But he's just getting totally reamed. It appears that many of the same people are putting multiple posts. Give him a break. Granted he is utilizing the coat tails too damned much. Truth is the music needs to be polished up and it will be appreciated. Question is can he do it? I'm not quite sure why he's getting so much negative publicity when there’s so much other crap being recorded by other artists. At least some of the songs kick ass. Many cds from other artists entirely suck. Could be that he should have stayed rock n' roll, but crossing over takes balls and time. He's more aggressive than Kevin Fowler who crossed over from hard rock and roll. It's not that it's great stuff, it's good. I'm more concerned that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon when it's Shooters first album of this type. Save the slaughter for weak live performances and a second cd that doesn't meet expectations.
Shooter Jennings  03/20/2005            
MusicMafia
Back the truck up and pull out the pooper scooper -- he's done for. Originality in music is certainly lacking these days, and Shooter's debut album is no exception. Artists today are trying to fill a void, or deliver certain messages to their fans. They're singing what people want to hear, and not what they believe in. One thing we believe is that Shooter needs to be more in tune with himself, or we'll be tuning out.
Shooter Jennings  03/20/2005            
Songwriter9192375
AS A SINGER SONGWRITER IN TEXAS I REALY THINK THAT IT IMPORTANT FOR OTHER ARTIST TO RESPECT TRADITION BROUGHT FORTH BY THOSE BEFORE THEM. SHOOTER AINT DONE NOTHIN MORE THAN USE HIS PAPPYS NAME TO SELL HIMSELF AS AN ARTIST. I DONT CARE IF HE IS THE SON OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD WAYLON JENNINGS IF YOU AINT IN THE BUSINESS FOR THE LOVE AND PASSION THEN YOU IN IT FOR THE WRONG REASONS. AINT A DROP OF HEARTFELT ANYTHING IN THIS ALBUM SHOWING THAT HE IS IN IT TO MAKE MONEY BECAUSE HE AINT GOT NOTHIN ELSE TO FALL BACK ON. GIVE 'ER UP PAL, IT AINT HARD TO SMELL A FAKE AND YOU ARE THE BIGGEST ONE OF ALL. GO GRAB A BEER AND SIT IN YOUR FRONT ROW SEAT AT THE KENNY CHESNEY CONCERT AND LEAVE THE REST OF US ALONE.
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