Shooter Jennings speaks against faux outlaws with new tune

Shooter Jennings – by Jessica Blankenship
Shooter Jennings is no stranger to Kentucky. In fact, he is an advocate for some of Kentucky’s local singers, including Lexington’s Fifth on the Floor. He has had several projects over the last few years, but lately he has made a bold statement with his song “Outlaw You.”
In this modern day country music business, it seems like singers want to get some “extra cred” of their background. They want to proclaim themselves as an outlaw, even name their albums with the use of the name Outlaw. However, in reality, the only true outlaws in the country music world would be Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Kris Kristofferson. They stood their ground and did the music they believed in. What is even more interesting, they didn’t like to be branded as an outlaw.
On the female side of matters, you could perhaps add Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and Dolly Parton for standing up in a man’s world and singing songs that the woman was truly feeling. They wrote and sang songs that spoke out on matters that women were going through back in the day and even now.
If there is anyone to speak out against the new “faux” outlaws, it would be Shooter Jennings, son of legendary Waylon Jennings. He’s been up against the wall with his own blend of country and rock music. In fact, for most, he isn’t relavent until the 4th of July as his tune of the same name is played as part of the selective patriotic tunes of the day. He’s been an innovator and an advocate of promoting the music that the corporate hands would not dare touch. It isn’t bad music – it is honest music with soul.
With Shooter Jennings “Outlaw You,” he calls out what is heard constantly through the airwaves and what has become cliche’ in songs. Look at the number of songs you hear namedropping Waylon, Cash, Hank to get that “I’m a country singer” cred. How many times can you describe the dirt road, being a redneck, drinking up, being tough, and you are country because you think you are. It isn’t hard to recognize who he is pointing a finger to in the song, and even in the video with blurred images of certain singers.
The song itself is strong in its message and Jennings vocals sing from the heart to make you know it is what he truly believes in. It is about time someone stands up to what we are hearing. In the words of Waylon Jennings – “Don’t you think this outlaw bit has done got out of hand?”
For more information on Shooter Jennings, check out his website www.shooterjennings.com and be sure to download “Outlaw You” via I-tunes.
Outlaw You Lyrics – by Shooter Jennings
I get home from a long day
Put on the radio
Looking for some country soul
I don’t find it no
It’s a dirt road free for all
Some homeboy saying they’re outlaw
They dress the part and they talk the talk
You know they’ve been told to walk the walk
These boys think they’re tough
But they ain’t robbing banks
Cause they name drop Johnny Cash
And they name drop poor ole Hank
Hey pretty boy in the baseball hat
Couldn’t hit country with a baseball bat
Country ain’t just about where you’re at
It’s about being true of what’s inside of you
You say you’re an outlaw with your perfect boots
That you got from your record label’s image group
Singing another man’s songs with a big drum loop
Listen son, you ain’t got a clue
Can’t buy true
I tell you what they should do
They should outlaw you
Let me paint a picture for you
Nashville in ’62
Formula ain’t proven true
They didn’t let nothing new through
When Waylon came to town
They didn’t like his original sound
Tried hard to keep him down
Tried hard to starve him out
He kept playing shows, pressing on
Chipping away song by song
After years and years of struggling strong
Got his chance and he took it to number 1
But this time it’s ’74
With his band in the back
And four in the floor
That one record busted down the door
And the record labels have control no more
Then in ’76 with the Outlaws record
Sold the first million in country music ever
Those ole boys with long haired and braids
Stayed truth to the south and freed the slaves
Along come years later
Seems like got back their grip
Took the outlaw concept
And they repackaged it
And there’s a million ole Waylon fans
Singing don’t ya’ll think this outlaw bit
Has gotten way out of hand
Hey pretty boy in your cowboy hat
Couldn’t hit country with a baseball bat
Country ain’t just about where you’re at
It’s about being true of what’s inside of you
You say you’re an outlaw with your perfect boots
That you got from your record label image group
Singing another man’s songs with a big drum loop
Listen son, you ain’t got a clue
Can’t buy true
I tell you what they should do
They should outlaw you
They should outlaw you
Hey pretty boy in the baseball hat
Couldn’t hit country with a baseball bat
Country ain’t just about where you’re at
It’s about being true of what’s inside of you
You say you’re an outlaw with your perfect boots
That you got from your record label image group
Singing another man’s songs with a big drum loop
Listen man, you ain’t got a clue
Can’t buy true
I tell you what they should do

Jessica Bray

Jessica Bray is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. Jessica has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite country music singers. She is a Kentucky Colonel, as well as a collector of Volkswagen and Gnome items. Most recently, she was named Laurel County's Ten Under 40 Award Recipients for 2018.

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