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  03/13/2005            
JT Lambert
Ha... stuff legends are made of? While Shooter's bloodlines are deeply immersed in trad. country music, his latest effort is nothing close to that of either of his parents. In fact, "Put the O Back in Country" is a sorry excuse of a southern rock album mistakenly classified as country. It's nothing more than the blandness that one can come to expect from the Universal South label. White trash at its finest.
Shooter Jennings  03/12/2005            
I love Waylon Jennings, and when I saw the video for 4th of July I had to be this album. This has to be one of the best Cd's I have ever bought. If this is any sign of whats to come Shooter is going to have a legendary career. Way to go Shooter, make your daddy proud!!!
Shooter Jennings  03/12/2005            
TX girl
I've been living in Georgia for the past 4 months and have really been missing the Texas music scene and all the concerts. I saw Shooter open for CCR in Albany, GA a couple of weeks ago and he kicks ass. A great guy doing a great thing!
Shooter Jennings  03/12/2005   
This is quite simply THE MOST HORRIBLE collection of songs recorded in any genre in any format I have ever heard. I frankly haven't been this disappointed in any CD since Jimmy Buffett released "Don't Stop the Carnival". I'm not one to normally put down "honest" music, but this just plain suck. It's not outlaw music or country music anymore than Kenny Chesney, and Kenny Chesney can at least sing. He (Kenny) can hit most of his notes. At least Time McGraw is smart enough to do a Bruce Robison song. An outlaw is supposed to be someone feared. A little scarey. I have no doubt that Toby Keith would kick the shit out of Shooter Jennings in any kind of fight. Listening to this CD should remove anyone else's doubt, as well.. Granted, the musicians were top notch, and the production was first class. Still, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit. I didn't like it and I threw it out my truck window after bearing the whole thing one time around. If you have an extra 15 bucks do yourself a favor and wipe your ass with it - trust me, that is a much better use of the money...The only O this puts back is the two "O"'s in PR which is all this thing is (on both counts)....
Shooter Jennings  03/10/2005            
Bought the cd after i saw Shoorter 3 consecutive nights with Ragweed(Jacksonville, Valdosta and Albany). The cd is great but get ready for a tour that rivals all of our favorites, Ragweed. Finally a show worth going to. If you like in your face music and energy than the cd is a must and the show is even more so. Hold on to you underwear because Shooter is about to blow them off.
Shooter Jennings  03/10/2005            
Shooters blend of country and rock and roll is really in your face. I think it's a great beginning for these guys. They need to polish it up a bit and get rid of the promos during the cd. At first I thought the George Jones and Hank Jr. promos were okay, but after hearing them a couple of times it starts to add to the "coat-tail" theory. I believe this band has the talent in their own right to be successful. They need to just pull it all together.
Shooter Jennings  03/09/2005            
David A
Shooter is one of the least talented artists on the Texas scene. Granted, in the Texas scene everyone is better than those nashville no-talent "artists." Unfortunately, I firmly believe that Shooter is riding his father's coat tails (god bless his soul).
Shooter Jennings  03/08/2005            
A welcome relief to a store shelf full of cookie cutter c*ntry. Shooter Jennings showcases his own individualism and creative writing that has to be based solely on life experiences and lessons learned the hard way. Its hard to believe that the writer of these soulfilled tracks isnt even thirty. From track one through to the last cut, Shooter captivates the listener making them want more and more of his "outlaw" country style. If this debut album is any indication of the career ahead of him, Shooter better clear off some wall space because there will be more platinum and gold to hang alongside his legendary fathers collection!
Shooter Jennings  03/05/2005            
This cd is fucking amazing. Shooter is so badass and its awesome.
Shooter Jennings  03/04/2005            
Waylon Jennings is one of my alltime favorite artist in any genre and I was excited to find out his son was putting out an album. Imagine my surprise when I got the album on Tuesday and loved it. I was somewhat shocked it is so good. "4th of July" is Bob Seger-esque. "Lonesome Blues" contains all the soul missing from country radio. The melody and attitude of "Manifesto No.1" remind me of Waylon's "You Can Have Her." The hidden track on the album, "My Song For You" is by all means worth the 15 second gap between it and "Daddy's Farm." It is my favorite track on the album. "Put the 'O' Back In Country" is a throwback to genuine Outlaw country and is hopefully a sign of what is to come from Shooter Jennings.
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