Shooter Jennings - The Wolf
Shooter Jennings – The Wolf
By Barb Fara
President and CEO of MusicIncider.com
Before I even do the CD review, let me just inform those of you who may not know that Shooter Jennings is son of one of the great country music masters, Waylon Jennings, who in 2001, was finally inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame. As you can tell, a lot of the older music generation’s children are following in their parent’s footsteps, just like Hank Williams III is following the footsteps of his father and grandfather. The first time I saw Shooter, it was in the movie Walk The Line; what really spooked me was that really sounded, looked and played like his father. Every time I get to that part of the move, I have to play it over and over. He is a true talent and should be respected for his work now and his work with the 357’s. I can see why he took a break from his career from the 357’s to move to New York to live with his girlfriend. He was going to do his own thing and find his own path, country wise. It’s very significant to me to watch these kids of great country music artist carrying on the family torch. And this is what Shooter has done with The Wolf. Just don’t respect him as only a sexy creature with a great ass and great face. Respect him for his music and talent. That’s all he wants, just like his father. Let’s take a look at the tracks.
On the Wolf – the 13th track is a hidden track called A Matter Of Time. Do not forget to listen to the hidden 13th track, it’s fantastic.
This Ol Wheel – The song is like an autobiography of Shooter’s life when he saw his dad and Johnny Cash doing Chain Gang in 1996 and realized that this was what he wanted to be. One thing is certainly true; whatever he deals with, he will make sure that the old generations live on through his music and I give Shooter credit for this. Like he mentions in the lyrics, Ah Puch (a devil) will not stop him, he is the son of the Waylon Jennings and no one will stop him.
Tangled Up Roses – This is the most honest love song I have heard this year, from any genre of music. I know I have written plenty about other bands and their break up and make up songs. But this song tells the story about how that man feels about you inside. Even after the fights, he looks at you and he melts inside and he knows that deep down inside his heart that this woman is his soul mate. Like roses, love brings pleasure and pain.
Walk Of Life – This is a cover of the great eighties band, Dire Straights. Shooter Jennings does this beautifully and with so much fun. He makes you see that a country artist can indeed rock, but deep down in my heart, in my own gut instinct, I feel like this is more of a dedication to the late Johnny Cash.
Old Friend – When you hear this song, it is so eerie – it’s like listening to his father Waylon. He must have had a wonderful childhood with his father, his inspiration. The power to keep country music alive. I take this as a dedication to his old friend - his best friend: his father, Waylon Jennings. He is watching over you.
Slow Train – Here we have another original. Something you can’t compare to anyone else – except maybe Hank Willimas Sr’s classic Ramblin’ Man. If you understand Ramblin’ Man, you understand this song.
Time Management 101 – Right here he goes back to his father’s roots again. It is a very clear, self explanatory song about life for him on the road and when he comes back home. This song is about his lady back home and the time that he needs for her.
Concrete Cowboys – This is truthfully a beautiful song. It reminds me of the Willie Nelson classic, Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys, but Shooter has taken it to another step, which is not an insult, but a compliment. This should have been one of the first songs released.
Higher – It’s what every musician goes through on the road – all sex, drugs, and rock n roll. He won’t remember your name the next day. Somehow by accident, he met a Soprano, and threw his fishing pole in the wrong river. This song does stress, even though he’s married, he makes those calls home to check in and make sure she is okay and he makes sure she’s okay or else someone is going to send Tony Soprano after him. The need for excess is prevalent on the road, and Shooter is simply expressing this lifestyle.
Blood From A Stone – Shooter is a fantastic writer. He turns his lyrics into story form and then plays it out in music. I believe that this is for all the people that have been fucked over in a relationship. If you are one of those people that have been fucked over – try sending this song out.
Last Time I Let You Down – This is dedicated to every musician that feels like they have let their mothers down. If anything they should be proud of what has become of their lives. Deep down their mothers are always proud of them, no matter how much trouble they get into, they will always be momma’s little boy.
She Lives In Color – This is dedicated to the two women in his life: long time girlfriend Andrea De Matteo and their baby girl, Alabama Gypsy Rose Jennings. This is also a great song for a guy to play when trying to make up to his girl after running astray.
The Wolf – I can imagine how Shooter feels, how Hank III feels - all they want to do is make their music. They are not in it for the fame and fortune, but deep down inside, people are just taking advantage of both families and that also includes the Cashes. Everybody that has passed on in the music business have children that are expected to look just like their parents because they biz can’t or won’t accept them for who they are. All they do is get used up and forced to start over again and again. So many artists that come down from this generation are tired of this they want to be respected for their own craft and talent.
A Matter Of Time – From the newspapers, Shooter’s relationship has been up and down, up and down. This song had to be written in the lowest time of his life during the separation period. It must be very hard to be the girl of a musician, but I think she has learned her lesson. If this song does not open her eyes up, then why would she still break his heart? Why would she let his soul bleed? Give him a chance, she is not with him because he is Waylon’s son, she is with him because he is Shooter and the two of them have a beautiful baby girl. Just as he respects her career, she should respect his.
I am totally shocked when this album was released that it was not released at number one on the country music charts and it makes me wonder why. Because he is Waylon’s son, or because he did not win American Idol, like the award winners whose names will not be spoken. But those winners also had connections in the music biz. To me, you respect any artist who is trying to get a break whether he is related to greatness or not. This album should be nominated for country music album of the year. A must buy album.
One personal note - When you look at the cover, if you look at his sunglasses carefully, reflected in the left eye is his band. In the right eye, reflected is his momma and his daddy and his girlfriend. I think wearing his father’s sunglasses is a beautiful tribute and he knows his dad will always be with him.