Shooter Jennings & Waymore’s Outlaws
The only son of country legends Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, Shooter Jennings literally spent his childhood on a tour bus. Born Waylon Albright Jennings, Shooter was playing drums by the time he was five years old and had already begun taking piano lessons, only to break them off and follow his own path to an understanding of the instrument.
He discovered guitar at 14 and rock & roll (particularly Southern rock and the loose-limbed hard rock of Guns N’ Roses) at 16. Soon he moved from Nashville to L.A., where he assembled a rock band called Stargunn. Stargunn earned a strong local reputation for its live shows, and enjoyed a six- or seven-year run on the L.A. circuit before Jennings rediscovered his outlaw country roots and dissolved the band.
After a short stay in New York, where Jennings assembled material for a country project, he returned to L.A. and put together a second band — this time with solid country roots — which he named the .357s. Jennings and the band holed up in the studio, eventually emerging with a rambunctious country album called Put the O Back in Country, which was released in 2005 on Universal South Records. Following in his father’s footsteps, but with his own feisty, scrappy sense of country, Jennings placed himself in a fine position to both explore that legacy and carve out his own. A second album, Electric Rodeo (which was actually recorded before Put the O Back in Country), appeared in 2006, followed by a live set, Live at Irving Plaza, later in the year. Jennings’ third solo effort, The Wolf, was released in October 2007, featuring a cover of Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life” (whose composer, Mark Knopfler, had been a longtime family friend). A month later, Jennings became a father. His girlfriend, actress Drea De Matteo, gave birth to Alabama Gypsy Rose in November. He proposed to De Matteo in 2009 on-stage in Utica, New York. He renamed his backing band Hierophant for his fourth studio album, Black Ribbons, a concept record produced by Dave Cobb. It appeared early in 2010. Later in the year, the album was re-released in a special edition entitled Black Ribbons: The Living Album. The second version was sold on a USB flash drive in the shape of a tarot card. It featured the studio record and live performances by Hierophant. In early 2011, Jennings and blogger Adam Sheets came up with the idea of creating XXX, a new radio format that would focus on insurgent country, rock, and hybrids of both, from new and established artists, that fell far outside the narrow conceits of mainstream radio and were thus ignored. It gained traction and a channel on Sirius/XM where both men served as program hosts. Jennings also moved to New York City with De Matteo. He and pianist Erik Deutsch formed a new band, called the Triple Crown, and he became a father for the second time to Waylon Albert “Blackjack” Jennings, in April. In urgent fashion, Jennings and the Triple Crown began recording; they released the video/download-only single “Outlaw You,” his screed against the country music establishment. It reached the top spot on CMT’s daily audience request competition and stayed there until a dispute with his former label dictated it be removed. The first official single from the forthcoming album, “The Deed and the Dollar,” again reached the top spot in the daily CMT request competition. Jennings’ fifth album, Family Man, followed soon after in March of 2012 — minus “Outlaw You.” His next album, The Other Life, was released a year later on his own Black Country Rock label; it featured guest appearances from Patty Griffin, Scott H. Biram, and Jim Dandy of Black Oak Arkansas. The Other Live, Jennings’ second live album, recorded during his 2013 tour and featuring many of the songs from The Other Life, appeared early in 2014, again from Black Country Rock.
Waymore’s Outlaws consists of former members of Waylon Jennings recording and touring band, The Waylors, featuring Richie Albright, Waylon’s original drummer, bassman Jerry “Jigger” Bridges, and steel guitarist Fred Newell. Lead guitarist and singer Tommy Townsend adds to their mix of Outlaw music. Waymore’s Outlaws are keeping the spirit of Waylon and his music alive today.
Richie Albright, Waylon’s original drummer, longtime friend, and right-hand man joined Waylon and The Waylors in 1964. Richie not only toured and recorded with Waylon for decades, but produced or co-produced many of Waylon’s records that are still being played on radio today. In the world of country music Richie has made history as a drummer, songwriter, and producer. The list of artists he has played and/or recorded with is a long one, to name a few would include- Jessi Colter, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jr, Tony Joe White, and Goose Creek Symphony. He continues to produce and perform after a long career which spans fifity years and over forty albums.
Jerry “Jigger” Bridges, who spent a little over two decades out on the road with Waylon, plays bass and tour manges Waymore’s Outlaws. A native of Red Bay, Alabama, Jigger was strongly influenced by the R&B emerging from nearby Muscle Shoals. Following a four-year stint as a staff musician at FAME Recording Studio, he moved to Nashville and began working with Waylon on the “Dukes of Hazzard” soundtrack. After his contributing bass work on Waylon’s Greatest Hits album, Richie and Waylon asked Jigger to join The Waylors on the road.
Fred Newell is a bona fide veteran of the Nashville studio scene who has recorded with everyone from Ray Charles to George Strait. In addition to being the staff lead guitarist on numerous TV shows including Nashville Now, he is respected worldwide for his ability to generate feeling and sounds out of his instruments that many struggle to emulate without success. The first country guitarist to ever receive an endorsement from Marshall Amplifiers, Newell is a guitar legend in many circles. He is unique in that he is considered not only a legendary guitarist, but also one of the top pedal steel players of all time. Fred, having recorded many albums with Waylon, joined Waylon’s touring band on pedal steel during the 90’s after the late and legendary Ralph Mooney had retired from the road.
Tommy Townsend, the bands lead guitarist and singer, is a native of Blairsville, Georgia. Waylon was a pivotal force in Townsend’s life as Tommy had the distinction of being mentored by Waylon in his youth. The two collaborated several times over the years, with Waylon playing guitar and singing harmony on some tracks and co-producing an album on Tommy with Jerry Bridges. Waylon and his band took Tommy under their wings recording in the studio, and occasionally, out for appearances on the road. As a songwriter, Tommy co-wrote three of the songs on the recently released Waymore’s Outlaws CD,Same Ol’ Outlaws.