The Wolf

The Wolf

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.

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