Album Review

Outlaw Country Is Dead. Long Live Outlaw.

Shooter Jennings - Shooter

Outlaw country is alive and well. Whitey Morgan, Cody Jinks and Chris Stapleton are certainly a part of the movement to keep it alive. Cody and Chris are selling more records than mainstream country artists by a longshot. The Country Music Hall of Fame has a great exhibit on it right now, very worthy of a visit,I saw it a couple months back, Jessi Colter was there as well, promoting a new documentary film being released on the Outlaw era. We got to see a portion of it.

I have been listening to country music for many decades and can say I remember when Willie and Hank and Merle and Waylon were all over country radio. Times have changed for sure. But the music endures, and will continue to IMO. Good to see Shooters coming back to his roots. He has taken some odd detours along the way.

And a couple more points to add, if I may. This year alone, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Prine, Willie Nelson, Cody Jinks, and soon Whitey Morgan have all released new albums.Steve Earle released an album called "So you wanna be an outlaw" this past year celebrating the Waylon sound.  Kristofferson is still performing, as is Ray Wylie Hubbard, who by the way released a new album last year, Lukas Nelson released a brilliant song very much in his fathers style called Just Outside of Austin last year. The Outlaw Country Cruise sells out every year, Willie Nelson has launched his own Outlaw festival which is currently touring around the country and doing well. So, come to think of it...outlaw Country is THRIVING right now. People like me who remember the original stuff are going to support it, the hipsters are supporting it to some degree, Nashville even has an underground scene that supports it, Bobby Bare released a new album last year and has started a new podcast covering it, David Allan Coe is talking about releasing a new record, Dallas Moore Band is touring the country playing it...and thats just off the top of my head. Sorry...got a little wordy, this topic touched a nerve. But thats what music journalism does, stir debate and without that, how boring everything would be.

What a pretentious article pretending to skewer pretense.
Outlaw Country is in very good shape at the moment, with people like Colter Wall, Tyler Childers, Jesse Dayton, and too many others to name. 

Is this review relevant? I'd say no.

Gettin' drunk/sayin' hell yea/kiss my ass/ do you like texas ?. . .Some of this stuff is sounding a bit of a cliche at this point.  Granted, Shooter has an interesting voice and would ring out nicely on rockabilly.  Good licks from the band, too.  But to offer a cliche of my own: hasn't this been done before and better.

Genres. Well just what is outlaw country? "They" say artists today like Nikki Lane and Lindi Ortega are outlaw country. You might say alt country is outlaw country. I guess I think of outlaw country as a movement at a particular time - Waylon and co. Just as Alt country is/was a movement starting in the 80's when punks started doing country ... rather than a genre. The drink thing. I remember getting into Hank Williams III, but after awhile the albums seemed to be "full" of songs about getting drunk. I haven't bought one of his albums for quite awhile now.

I admit I haven't heard this latest from Shooter. And from the lyrics you've shared here, I know better than to bother. Down like a bassett hound? Drunk and loud? Well of course he doesn't take himself too seriously, ain't nothing serious here. Sounds like he's dummying down to Hank 3's endless 'I'm so badass' triteness. Cliche with a capital C. If you've heard even one Steve Young song, you know that's not Outlaw.