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."
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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  03/20/2005            
Dude this ain't country but I'll get back at ya when I figure out what the hell this crap is........ it don't sound so good so it might take me awhile to force myself to listen to it again. SUCKS ASS
Shooter Jennings  03/20/2005            
Shooter...this is Emily. Met u at the Viper Room back in Hollywood!! Why did u give up Stargunn? U at least had some talent back then, whats up with ur wanna be country crap??? I was so disappointed with the album that I wound up using it for target practice in my backyard. Now it serves as a coaster in our dining room.
Shooter Jennings  03/20/2005            
Anybody who has the gall to compare Shooter to his father is completely stupid. To all the ballcappers out there who bow down to sellouts CCR and Pat Green (who is opening now for Kenny Chesney) have nothing more than a washed up musician trying to find acceptance before hanging up the ol' guitar in Shooter's debut album. He's riding on the coattails of predecessors, including his father, and he's taking advantage of the Jennings name by claiming anything he is doing is remotely country. Fans of Hank III will notice that Shooter has clearly ripped off a line from "Dick in Dixie" in coming up with the album title. That should show you that Shooter has about as much credibility as the Preident. The songs are weak from a lyrical standpoint, and it's nothing that hasn't been sung about hundreds of times before. Pack it up Shooter, you're finished. Go back to the hole in LA you crawled out from under and go back to your day job. Music doesn't need anymore knock-offs, we've got enough already.
Shooter Jennings  03/20/2005            
In the voice of Waylon the Balladeer: "Looks like ole Shooters' got his hands tied, by the same damn critics that hung his daddy out to dry. " After reading a solid 30 reviews of pure ass ripping on Shooter Jennings debut, one would start to think that Texans don't have much concern for tradition. I guess that's why Waylon moved to Arizona when he wore a similar pair of shoes early in his career. He couldn't get Texans, his own damn people, to see beyond his Rock and Roll mark in music up to that point. Playing bass with galvanized legend Buddy Holly. The Bob Wills mindset was the norm back then. I guess now Texans either like frat country ala Pat Green or Creed country ala Cross Canadian Ragweed. Strange...both of these two Texas music leaders are neither from Texas, nor are they leaders. I'm not saying they are bad, weak, lame, sellouts anything remotely close to what I've read about Shooter. They just happen to sound like slightly different versions of Jack Ingram and the Robison brothers. He is 25 years old, his troat ain't made of gold, his father left him his name, you fucking people should be ashamed.
Shooter Jennings  03/19/2005            
Anybody who says this is similar to Lisa Marie Presley's CD needs to reevaluate their musical tastes. LMP's CD had originality, and emotion, Shooter's CD is cliche, and he trys too hard to rhyme. Strip it down, add some steel guitar, and lose the glasses, it makes you look lame.
Shooter Jennings  03/19/2005            
easily one of the worst country albums to come down the pike in the past decade. oddly enough, this "country" album doesn't hit close the the genre. looking for country then pick up the new brad cotter album, it'll rock your face off.
Shooter Jennings  03/18/2005            
Yah, the bio should give it away. He "twice subbed for Axl Rose onstage." Get back to the life of a rockstar. That is the only place u can truly suck and nobody gives a rip. U definitely ain't country. Leave that up to the MEN. Your just a boy and ain't lived enuff to attempt the music that has made legends including ur daddy.
Shooter Jennings  03/18/2005            
hi....i just wanted to say that i have seen more originality from my eight year old kid than this album has to offer...... if ur lookn for new music, u aint gunna find it here.....this is a pile of poo poo
Shooter Jennings  03/18/2005            
it doesn't take much to smell a fraud. the stink is not only unbearable, but it's gut-wrenching. you have a kid who can't quite find his niche. rock and roll didn't work for him, so he's trying to fall back on country music, where WAYLON had a long-lived career. this definitely ain't his daddy's country music, but then again this isn't too much more than the same dribble coming out from Nashville, the only difference is that the music is played louder.
Shooter Jennings  03/17/2005            
Another example of a no talent kid riding on his daddy's coat tails. This is so bad, it almost makes Django Walker sound good. Almost. Waylon was the hoss. Shooter will never follow in his footsteps.
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