The only son of country legends, Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, Shooter Jennings, inherited his musical talent honestly. Spending his childhood on a tour bus, Shooter picked up the drums and piano by the time he was five. At fourteen, he discovered guitar and Southern rock and later, Guns N' Roses. Guest staring as a percussionist in his father's band, he and his father recorded an unreleased record together called Fenixon in 1996, which was partially used for the album Waylon Forever.
As an adult, he moved from Nashville to Los Angeles and New York, forming the band Stargunn and later a new band, 357's. Jennings released a rambunctious country album called Put the O Back in Country, giving the band its first entry on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the song, Fourth of July. The album features spoken-word bits from George Jones and Hank Williams Jr. Lyrics within this album centered around Jennings vulnerable self-portrayal of heartache and confusion, including his awful experiences in Nashville and how country had lost its soul.
His second album, Electro Rodeo, incorporated his feisty, scrappy sense of country, and again earned its place on the Billboard Country Albums chart. Jennings' third solo effort, The Wolf was released, peaking the Country Albums chart with a cover of Dire Straits' Walk of Life.
With his fourth album, he renamed his band Hierophant to coincide with the album, Black Ribbons, his most ambitious effort yet. The album featured dialog written by Stephen King, who also narrated the album. Again it landed on the Billboard Independent Albums chart. Later, the album was re-released in a special edition entitled Black Ribbons: The Living Album. It sold on a USB flash drive shaped like a tarot card and had a bonus feature - live performances by Hierophant.
Jennings formed a new band, the Triple Crown, before releasing his self-produced fifth album, Family Man. Its first single, The Deed and the Dollar, a love lullaby, not surprisingly reached the top spot in the daily CMT request competition. Relying on personal experiences such as critics of his last album and a family illness, the album is his musical autobiography. His latest album, The Other Life, features legends Patty Griffin, Scott H. Biram, and Jim Dandy and something special for his fans – a short film telling his personal stories of self-discovery, temptation, isolation, and rebirth.
Jennings doesn’t have his father’s commanding baritone or his mother’s delicate balance of pathos and strength. However, he does have a knack for what it means to write and sing real American music. He blends southern rock and hillbilly similar to Lynyrd Skynard and Kid Rock, with beats of Don Williams and influences of Guns n’ Roses, using his personal experiences of a tradition of living, loving, and losing as lyrics. He combines his natural DNA talent with his mature outlook and emotional strength to create his own unique style and vision that separates him from other artists, never lowering his expectations, staying within boundaries, or allowing ideals to control his visions – Jennings has and always will be a determined and daring artist, focused on the progressive evolution of his music. As long as Jennings continues to experience life’s journey, his fans can continue to listen to the melody and lyrics of his autobiography. Have a listen September 6th at the Southgate House Revival!