Waylon Albright Jennings (born May 19, 1979), known professionally as Shooter Jennings, is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and record producer. The only son of country music singers Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, he has been active since 1996, releasing seven albums and numerous EPs. He also has made some appearances and cameos in films. Jennings is active mainly in outlaw country and Southern rock genres.
Jennings at The Rainbow Bar and Grill in 2018
|Birth name||Waylon Albright Jennings|
|Born||May 19, 1979|
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Jennings made his debut with the single "4th of July" of his 2005 album Put the "O" Back in Country on Universal South, which peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard country charts. Jennings has since followed with six more full-length studio albums: Electric Rodeo (2006), The Wolf (2007), Black Ribbons (2009), Family Man (2012), The Other Life (2013) and Countach (For Giorgio) (2016), in addition to a live album, a compilation, and numerous EPs.
Jennings was born in Nashville, Tennessee on May 19, 1979. There are two different accounts regarding how he got his nickname "Shooter". His mother cited her, and husband Waylon Jennings', love of western culture and cowboy art for inspiring the gun-derived moniker. But his father said he came up with the name when, moments after the newborn emerged from his mother's womb, the boy sprayed a nurse before anyone could put on his first diaper. “I love my mom,” says Jennings, “but I like Dad’s version better. And I believe it’s true. He didn’t make [stuff] like that up."
He lived the first few years of his life in a crib on his parents' tour bus surrounded by the likes of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. By age five, he was playing drums. At 8 years old, he began taking piano lessons. He started playing guitar at fourteen and on occasion he'd play percussion in his father's band.
In high school Jennings fronted an industrial rock band called KilRaven for his high school's talent show. In 2011, he released the KilRaven track "Only You" on the album "Missed The Boat".
In 1996, Jennings and his father recorded an album together. They called it Fenixon (a play on the words "phoenix" and "sun") but could not find a label to distribute it. Some of the material was remastered and used for the album Waylon Forever. The full Fenixon recording was finally released by Jennings' label Black Country Rock in 2014.
In 2001, Jennings left Nashville, Tennessee to seek his fortunes in Los Angeles. He assembled and performed with Stargunn, a rock band. The band featured Jennings on piano and lead vocals, Carter Falco, and Kevin Sciou on guitar and background vocals, Curtis Roach on bass, and Lex Lipsitz on drums. Towards the end of 2001, Stargunn released their first album The Only Way Up Is Down and toured with Saliva, Tesla, Mark Ford and others in support of the album. That same year Music Connection magazine listed Stargunn as one of the Hot 100 Unsigned Artists of 2001.
In 2002 Stargunn was featured on I've Always Been Crazy: A Tribute to Waylon Jennings, and the soundtrack to the Vince Vaughn film Made. Shortly after, Touchstone Pictures licensed the song "White Lines N Black Ties" for the film The Crew starring Burt Reynolds. Stargunn performed together for three years, built an avid following, and earned praise from the local music press. On March 30, 2003, Jennings dissolved Stargunn and began working on his solo career.
In 2015, Jennings' label Black Country Rock released Stargunn's debut album "The Only Way Up Is Down" on vinyl as part of Record Store Day.
Put the "O" Back in CountryEdit
He returned to Los Angeles in 2004 to begin working on new material. In 2005 Jennings signed his first recording contract, with Universal South Records, releasing his debut album Put the "O" Back in Country that same year.
"Put the "O" Back in Country" produced his only entry on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts in its lead-off single "Fourth of July", which peaked at No. 22. The album version of this song features a cameo appearance by George Jones, who sings the chorus to his signature song "He Stopped Loving Her Today" at the end; this guest appearance was removed from the song's radio edit. Despite the edit, Jones was credited on the Billboard charts. The album featured his new band The .357's, which consisted of Leroy Powell on guitar, Bryan Keeling on drums, Ted Kamp on bass with Robby Turner on steel, and backing vocals by Bonnie Bramlett.
Later that year his song "Busted In Baylor County" was then featured in the 2005 film version of The Dukes of Hazzard, furthermore Jennings portrayed his father in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. His rendition of his father's song "Long Way From Home" was featured on the film's soundtrack.
Electric Rodeo and The WolfEdit
Though recorded before Put the "O" Back in Country, released on April 4, 2006,[clarification needed] Electric Rodeo was released as Jennings's second solo album. Sonically, Electric Rodeo is louder, rawer, more upfront rock and roll than its predecessor.
Electric Rodeo was followed by The Wolf on October 23, 2007. The album varied from his previous records in that the .357s had opted for a decidedly 1970s feel to the instrumentals. It featured collaborations with Doug Kershaw and The Oak Ridge Boys, as well as a cover of the Dire Straits song "Walk of Life".
Departure from UniversalEdit
In 2009, Jennings, having issues with his label and wanting out of his four-album contract released his first compilation album, Bad Magick: The Best of Shooter Jennings and the .357's. The album featured four new tracks; live versions of "Lonesome Blues", and "Daddy's Farm", as well as covers of his father's "Lonesome, Onry and Mean", and the Hank Williams, Jr. song "Living Proof".
After the release of Bad Magick: The Best of Shooter Jennings and the .357's, having fulfilled his four-album contract; Jennings parted ways with Universal records.
On March 23, 2009 Jennings took part in CMT Crossroads, a television show in which two musicians are paired with one another and perform a small concert together for an intimate crowd. The episode paired Jennings with close friend and fellow musician Jamey Johnson. The evening's set list consisted entirely of duets, including a cover of "Outlaw Shit" from the Waylon Forever album, two songs from Jennings' discography; "God Bless Alabama", "It Ain't Easy". As well as four songs from Johnson's album That Lonesome Song; "High Cost Of Living", "Mowing Down The Roses", "Between Jennings and Jones" and "In Color".
Having left Universal, Jennings changed the name of his backing band from The .357's to Hierophant. With the news that he and his band would be joining the likes of Paramore, Bad Religion, Fall Out Boy, Jefree Star, and various other popular rock bands on the 2009 Warped Tour it became apparent that Jennings next album would differ drastically from his previous efforts.
In February 2009, it was announced that the album would be titled Black Ribbons. It was also announced that it would be a dystopian concept rock opera and that writer Stephen King would play a major role in the album as Will O' The Wisp.
It was released independently on March 2, 2010 through Black Country Rock Records, and although it was seen as a complete departure from his country sound, the album showed off the diversity as an artist and gained him much critical acclaim, as well as a brand new underground following.
On May 1, 2010, Jennings announced "Black Ribbons: The Living Album" on his Twitter account. The "Living Album" includes the full studio record and live shows with Hierophant on a USB flash drive shaped like a tarot card. Towards the end of 2010, Jennings with the help of various other artists launched the "XXX" movement to help musicians who struggle to receive mainstream recognition.
In 2011, along with childhood friend and master pianist Erik Deutsch, Jennings formed The Triple Crown, a new backing band featuring Erik Deutsch on piano, Tony Leone on drums, Jeff Hill on bass, Jon Graboff on pedal steel, Eleanor Whitmore on fiddle and Chris Masterson on lead guitar.
On March 13, 2012, having signed a record deal with E1 Music, and with The Triple Crown along for the ride, Jennings returned to his country roots with the release of the album Family Man, his first self-produced outing. The album was originally meant to contain eighteen tracks, but was instead split into two albums: Family Man and 2013's The Other Life.
On July 31, 2012 Jennings was featured in Bucky Covington's debut single "The Drinking Side of Country" from the album Good Guys.
In October 2012 Jennings was one of six commentators for the Ovation mini-series Song By Song: Johnny Cash.
The Other LifeEdit
While recording Family Man, Jennings decided to cut the darker tracks from the album, and instead use them for the album's follow-up, The Other Life.
"Five of these songs were recorded when we were doing Family Man, and when we were deciding what to do with it we broke it up into two records. The Other Life is representative of the other side of the coin from Family Man and the way my life has been going in a lot of ways, At first we were going to call it The Outsider, but once we got into the film we thought, 'Well, it's like a mirror, a dark mirror of what Family Man was.' " - Jennings told TheBoot.com.
Jennings premiered the track "Wild & Lonesome" (featuring Patti Griffin) on the 4th season of the FX original series Sons of Anarchy. Followed by the release of first official single from the album "The White Trash Song" (featuring Scott H. Biram) which premiered on RollingStones.com along with the announcement that the album would be accompanied by a film.
The album featured seven new songs, as well as two cover songs (Harry Nilsson's "Flying Saucer song" and Steve Young's "The White Trash song") and "Outlaw You", which was put out in early 2012 as a digital release.
Jennings along with filmmaker Blake Judd released The Other Life film. Running at 32 minutes long, it utilizes six of the songs from the album as a sort of narration. The film is about a musician leaving his family to tour, but when he does so he finds the road is not the same, and becomes haunted by a mysterious woman. Throughout the film, the musician is forced to face his darker urges and deal with self-discovery, temptation, isolation and rebirth. The film closes with a short adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower.
The Other Life went on to win Best Short Film at the 2013 Horror Hound Festival.
Black Country Rock MediaEdit
On October 2013, Jennings announced the formation of his new label and multi-format recording company, Black Country Rock. Their initial releases included: a remastered release of the Waylon Jennings album Right for the Time, two live albums (one from Jessi Colter titled Live from Cain's Ballroom, and one from Jennings titled The Other Live), as well as a recording of "You Are My Sunshine" featuring vocals from both Jamey Johnson and Jennings. All four were released on vinyl, cassette, CD, as well as digitally.
On February 27, 2014, Jennings revealed he would be releasing a spoken word follow-up to Hierophant's 2010 album, Black Ribbons, titled The Magic, inspired by first story in the controversially interactive horror series thirteen.
In addition to The Magic Jennings also announced, that after nearly a decade of waiting, he would be releasing the 1995 collaborative album, Fenixon.
Both projects were released during 2014's Record Store Day, and subsequently sold out.
Towards the end of May 2014, Jennings announced his intention to release two EP's later in the year. Don't Wait Up (for George) is a tribute to his close friend and mentor George Jones, which was released in August 2014. Jennings' seventh studio album, Countach (For Giorgio), was originally scheduled to be released in November 2014, but its release was delayed due to the sudden death of Jon Hensley, Jennings' longtime manager and friend and Black Country Rock co-founder. A tribute to 1970s electronic-music pioneer and producer, Giorgio Moroder, the album was released on February 26, 2016 and features guest vocals from Steve Young, Brandi Carlile, Marilyn Manson and Richard Garriott de Cayeux. The album became his first to enter the Dance Albums chart, peaking at number seven there.
Since 2005, Jennings has hosted "Shooter Jennings' Electric Rodeo" on Sirius XM Outlaw Country channel. The show airs on Saturday night at 6–8 pm EST, with a replay on Sunday at 10–12 pm.
In May 2012, Jennings announced via Twitter that he and musician Lukas Nelson (son of Willie Nelson) were in the studio recording an album together. That same year Jennings announced his intention of producing a film based on his father's life and career.
Jennings posted a status on his official Facebook page during February 2014, stating he would be soon be collaborated with Billy Ray Cyrus on a future BCR release. Also in 2014, Jennings played his first gigs with Waymore's Outlaws, his father's band.
Jennings collaborated with Duff McKagan for his 2019 solo album, Tenderness. The album was recorded with Jennings band, The Waters and The Suicide Horn Section, amongst others. In March 2019, a tour was announced in support of the album, featuring Jennings band playing both the support slot as well as the headline slot as the backing band for Duff.
Jennings has produced albums and tracks for numerous bands including Hellbound Glory, Fifth on the Floor, Jason Boland & the Stragglers and Last False Hope, as well as Jessi Colter, Jamey Johnson, Wanda Jackson, Brandi Carlile, Marilyn Manson, Julie Roberts, Scott H. Biram, Jim "Dandy" Mangrum, Ron Jeremy, Last Daze, Billy Ray Cyrus, and The Angry Grandpa.
Jennings hosts a radio show on SiriusXM's Outlaw Country station entitled "Electric Rodeo." The show's format primarily consists of country, rock, and outlaw music. The show airs Thursdays from midnight to 2:00 AM, Saturdays from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, and Sundays from 10:00 PM to midnight Eastern.
On February 13, 2002, Shooter's father died in his sleep of diabetic complications in Chandler, Arizona. He was buried in the Mesa City Cemetery, in Mesa, Arizona. At the funeral ceremony, on February 15, Shooter sang "I've Always Been Crazy" for the attendees, who included Waylon's close friends, family, and fellow musicians.
Jennings began dating actress Drea de Matteo in 2003. They have two children together, daughter Alabama Gypsyrose Jennings (born November 2007) and son Waylon Albert "Blackjack" Jennings (born April 2011). Jennings and de Matteo eventually ended their relationship without marrying. Jennings married Misty Brooke Swain on June 4, 2013 in Joshua Tree, California.
- Studio albums
|2005||Walk the Line||Waylon Jennings|
|2006||American Revolutions: The Highwaymen||Himself|
|2013||The Other Life||The Gunslinger|
|2008||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Himself|
|2019||Marvel's The Punisher||Himself|
- Steve Leggett. "Shooter Jennings biography". AllMusic. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
- "Shooter Jennings - Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
- "30 Most Anticipated Albums Shooter Jennings's Shooter". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
- Fusilli, Jim. "Waylon and Son, Reunited on Disc". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
- "SHOOTER JENNINGS Claims He Was Offered VELVET REVOLVER Job Twice". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
- "Shooter Jennings (ShooterJennings) on Twitter". Twitter.com. 2014-06-03. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
- Kohn, Daniel (February 23, 2016). "How Daft Punk and the Muppets Inspired Shooter Jennings' Giorgio Moroder Tribute Album". LA Weekly. Voice Media Group. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- Dauphin, Chuck (February 19, 2016). "Shooter Jennings on Giorgio Moroder Tribute Album & How His David Bowie Cover 'Ended Up Meaning So Much More'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- Leahey, Andrew (January 4, 2016). "Shooter Jennings Enlists Marilyn Manson, Brandi Carlile for 'Countach'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- Kaye, Ben (February 18, 2016). "Marilyn Manson covers the hell out of David Bowie's "Cat People" — listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- Vanderbilt, Mike (January 5, 2016). "Neon noir meets outlaw country in Shooter Jennings' tribute to Giorgio Moroder". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- "Shooter Jennings - Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
- "SHOOTER JENNINGS DJS ON SIRIUS RADIO". Country Weekly. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
- Blabbermouth (2019-05-03). "Does DUFF MCKAGAN Feel Underrated As A Bass Player?". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
- Lifton, Dave. "Duff McKagan Announces 'Tenderness' Album and Tour Dates". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
- "Outlaw Country - Top Country Music with an Edge on SiriusXM". Siriusxm.com. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
- "Obituaries | Country singer Waylon Jennings dead at 64 | Seattle Times Newspaper". community.seattletimes.nwsource.com. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
- "Waylon wall: Country singer's grave finally has marker - Tucson Citizen Morgue, Part 2 (1993-2009)". tucsoncitizen.com. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
- Nudd, Tim (November 29, 2007). "Drea de Matteo Has a Baby Girl". People. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- Michaud, Sarah (April 8, 2011). "Drea de Matteo, Shooter Jennings Welcome Son Waylon Albert". People. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- Sanz, Cynthia (July 2, 2013). "Shooter Jennings & Misty Brooke Swain Marry in the Desert". People. Retrieved November 4, 2013.