Shooter Jennings Put the O Back in Country

On first glance it would be easy to dismiss Shooter Jennings as a redneck poser, that is until you realise he’s the son of one of the original Outlaws — Waylon Jennings. Still, it’s clear from this debut album that Jennings is more a product of the L.A. rock scene he was raised in, rather than the rough Texas roadhouse circuit the old man came from. In fact, Shooter even stood in for an absent Axl Rose at a few Gn’R gigs. But like Hank Williams Jr. before him, there must be a nagging need to try to live up to the legend. And like Hank Jr., Shooter has a long way to go. His biggest problem is that he takes the "Nashville Rebel” tag too literally, as much of the album whines about the state of the country music industry while offering nothing more than Southern rock clichés. There are some worthy moments though, such as the travelogue tale "Busted In Baylor County,” and the homesick lament "Southern Comfort.” Jennings should be commended for his down-and-dirty approach, but in a strange way it doesn’t come across as sincere on this record. Unless he becomes his own man, he indeed will soon be the next Hank Jr. (Universal)