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The Wolf

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iTunes Review

The only son of Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter hews close to the family line with traditionalist country that’s short on pop frills and long on manly concerns and, well, traditional country instrumentation. Like his father, Shooter sees himself as an outlaw country performer, a tough guy who doesn’t concern himself with niceties unless it means a singalong chorus, then he’s willing to concede, as long as there’s a pedal steel and electric guitar to back him up. The funky guitars of “Higher,” the bad boy tale of “This Ol’ Wheel,” the R&B horns of “Time Management 101,” the sturdy rock drive of the Dire Straits cover “Walk of Life” form the musical boundaries of Jennings’ hard country. He’ll allow backing vocals to sweeten things (“Blood From A Stone”) as long as it sounds more like a barroom at closing time than some producer’s trick. To his credit young Shooter can convincingly slow it down, as the “Old Friend” waltz and the austere “Concrete Cowboys” show his tender side.  It’s said, ladies love outlaws. Yes, when they carry the tune.

Customer Reviews

Shooter's best yet!

The Wolf Shooter Jennings Universal South This third studio album by Shooter Jennings shows significant development as an artist while showing more of the rough-edged flavor of his first two. While just as gritty in parts as Put the O Back in Country and Electric Rodeo, The Wolf delves into the complications of life and love in a more mature fashion. I’ve always been fascinated by songwriters and the first thing I look at on an album is the writers’ credits. Shooter has now recorded three albums comprised of material written by him and his band plus three covers by gentlemen he’s known from his childhood—Neil Young (“Are You Ready for the Country”), Hank Williams Jr. (“Living Proof”) and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits (“Walk of Life”). Given that most of today’s country artists are buying Cadillacs for Craig Wiseman, John Rich and Jeffrey Steele, I think that’s pretty impressive—especially since Shooter’s only 28. Opener “This Ol’ Wheel” is getting dissed by some for being “rap” when the song actually harkens back to Johnny Cash’s “One Piece at a Time” or Charlie Daniels’ “Devil Went Down to Georgia.” It’s Shooter looking back at where he’s been and ahead to where he’s going while revealing the pain of the process. One thing I found conspicuously missing from Shooter’s first two albums was a traditional love song. “Tangled Up Roses” definitely qualifies, telling the tale of a tumultuous relationship where the ferocity of the fights just makes the making-up sweeter. “Hank and Audrey fight” has to be one of the most spot-on phrases I’ve heard in a long time. “The Last Time I Let You Down,” written by bass player Ted Russel Kamp, is a heartbreaking look at regret over past mistakes. “Walk of Life” is one of my favorite Dire Straits songs and Shooter effectively “countrifies” it with fiddle and steel. “Old Friend” is a song I can totally relate to because I have an old friend and we’ve been keeping each other together since high school. “Slow Train,” written by former band member Leroy Powell, is already a crowd favorite at Shooter’s concerts and the Oak Ridge Boys provide their trademark killer harmonies. “Time Management 101” is pure vintage Bocephus and one of my absolutely favorite cuts on this album. It’s so effervescently catchy you can’t help but sing along. “Concrete Cowboys” is bound to remind you of some of Waylon’s 70s tunes like “Ladies Love Outlaws” and “My Heroes have Always Been Cowboys” but Shooter paints this landscape with his own characters. “Higher” marks the songwriting debut of drummer Bryan Keeling and it’s a politically incorrect look at the women you meet on the road from a musician’s jaded point of view. You’ll either find this song rollicking fun or get all offended. In the latter case, I hear Rascall Flats has a new album out that should be right up your alley. Both “Blood From A Stone” and “She Lives in Color” look at relationships, the later spiced with some tasty “Ring of Fire” style horns and a chorus you can’t get out of your head. Title song “The Wolf” is my favorite song on this album so far, a scorching look at feeling like an outsider. “A Matter of Time” is the song that took the longest to grow on me, a trilogy Shooter described as “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy goes crazy.” It’s definitely the most complex song on the album. As much as I love Shooter’s first two albums, both took a little getting used to at first. This one grabbed me from the first listen. I hope it does that for a lot of fans old and new because Shooter is a talent that deserves to be heard—and a welcome breath of fresh air in a musical genre grown stale.


Shooter's one of the few who makes an album the way it's supposed to be done, ie you can listen and enjoy quality music all the way through from track one to the end. Excellent stuff here. The version of Walk of Life far exceeds the corny original. His drummer (track 8) turns out to be a good songwriter & bassist TR Kamp lends his solo track (10) which is a truly classic sounding country song. See 'em live if you can as well.

Shooter delivers again!

Shooter Jennings brings a new depth to his songwriting and musical inclinations. Mixed in with the remake of "Walk of Life" and the rowdy wild ride of "Higher," are many classic country songs. Old school. The guitar work and overall instramentation of the .357's is fantastic. Pick this album up if you liked any of Shooter's previous material, or even if you haven't. Waylon Jennings will soon be know as Shooter's dad instead of the other way around. Gretty Sioux Falls, SD


Born: May 19, 1979

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The only son of country legends Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, Shooter Jennings literally spent his childhood on a tour bus. Born Waylon Albright Jennings, Shooter was playing drums by the time he was five years old and had already begun taking piano lessons, only to break them off and follow his own path to an understanding of the instrument. He discovered guitar at 14 and rock & roll (particularly Southern rock and the loose-limbed hard rock of Guns N' Roses) at 16. Soon he moved from Nashville...
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