Concert preview: Country outsider Shooter Jennings follows in his famous father’s footsteps

  • Photo courtesy of Shooter Jennings
By Columbus Alive
From the January 9, 2014 edition

The son of country outlaw Waylon Jennings has followed in his famous father’s footsteps, carving out a successful career well outside the mainstream. His latest album, The Other Life, might be his best yet, bounding from freewheeling hootenannies (“The White Trash Song”) to comparatively tender moments like “Wild & Lonesome,” a dog-eared duet with singer Patty Griffin.

Jennings’ songs are endearingly blue-collar, and he spends his time here drinking away his problems (the rocking “Mama, It’s Just My Medicine”), flitting about the edges of society (“The Outsider”) and wondering when, if ever, the Lord might answer his prayers (the heartbreaking title track). While these themes might be familiar in country music, the singer/songwriter isn’t afraid to push out into new frontiers, covering Harry Nilsson and spending ample time perched at a piano. On “The Gunslinger,” Jennings even channels his inner-Dirty Harry, taking on anyone who might attempt to box his music in. “Do you feel me, punks,” he snarls as a bluesy saxophone glides in to provide an unexpected exclamation point.

Waymore’s Outlaws and Molly Winters open the show.