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Event: Music
Shooter Jennings, Jason Boland | Richmond, VA | The Broadberry | December 9, 2017
  • Shooter Jennings 1
  • Shooter Jennings 2
  • Shooter Jennings, Jason Boland 1
  • The Broadberry 1 | Richmond, VA

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  4.3    [2 reviews]

Shooter Jennings, Jason Boland
The Broadberry in Richmond

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Shooter Jennings

When you hear about the son of two country music legends, the product seems inevitable

But what you get from Shooter Jennings is a little bit of that, and a whole lot of what you didn't realize you wanted.

A musician, song writer, producer, and video game creator, Jennings has released eight studio albums, two live records, and has produced and released various projects courtesy of his own record label Black Country Rock. Jennings career hasn't ever stuck to one format, and you can find him all over the map when it comes to where he is at in the game.

His latest album, released in 2016, Countach (For Giorgio), came in at #7 on the US Dance/Electronic charts, and was Jennings ode to electronic music innovator and songwriter, Giorgio Moroder. The album features songs with various artists including Marilyn Manson, Brandi Carlile, and Steve Young.

With his 2005 debut solo record, Put The O Back In Country, Jennings enlisted Dave Cobb as producer (who remained producer on his first four solo records) and the album included southern rock tracks 4th Of July and Steady At The Wheel. The record debuted at #22 on the US Country chart.

Fast forward to 2010, and youll find Jennings releasing Black Ribbons, a heavy, psychedeliccountry-rock concept album that included narration from Stephen King as the albums character Will O The Wisp. At the time, the album was a left turn for Jennings, but created a new path for fans of all genres, and somewhat of a cult-following of the record. Black Ribbons will be re-released on November 8th, 2016 (Election Day) as an Ultimate Edition.

While some stay in the safe-place of their genres, Jennings continues to place himself where he wants to be, and creates exactly what he feels is needed for the time. Music.

Jason Boland

Its admirable when a musician gets back to his roots, theres no questioning that. But in a lot of ways, its even more admirable when an artist has no need to do that having never lost touch with those roots in the first place. Jason Boland falls squarely into the latter category, having spent the better part of the last 15 years entrenching himself in the so-called red dirt of his native state of Oklahoma and adopted home in Texas and while spreading his musical branches to cover a remarkable amount of territory.

Ive always thought it was important to keep one foot in tradition and the other pointed in the direction you want to go, says Boland. I didnt invent the G chord, so Im standing on the shoulders of the giants that did, and on the shoulders of some great songwriters that have come before me. Im using an old stencil, but adding my own colors.

On their new studio album, Dark and Dirty Mile, Boland and his compatriots use a wide array of hues to illustrate 11 songs of rejection and redemption, dark clouds and silver linings, all assembled in the rough-hewn manner thats earned him an ever-growing fan base a following thats snapped up more than a half-million records over the past decade and change.

Dark and Dirty Mile is a song cycle of sorts, one that finds Boland seeking and finding -- beauty in lifes often-overlooked places, learning tough lessons through experience and overcoming obstacles with the help of others. Thats evident in the title track, which opens the album with a vividly drawn emotional landscape strewn with moments of regret and missed opportunities but a clear bead on a clear horizon.

A similar dichotomy rolls through Electric Bill, a slow burn of a honky-tonk tune that conjures a picture of a man with an overdrawn checkbook in one hand and the hand of a loved one in the other a sentiment he credits to his wife, who he says, reminded him that, if everything is taken away tomorrow, theres still love and hope in the world.

Boland presents that sentiment without a drop of Hallmark saccharine, however. He doesnt sweeten these tunes with easy studio tricks or the sort of pop trickery so often heard on Music City productions these days. The surface is anything but slick, and the sinew that runs through songs like the organ-tinged strut Green Screen and the high lonesome desert tone of his take on Randy Crouchs They Took It Away lends a tone thats ragged-but-right, ideal for Bolands always-incisive lyrics.

People dont always expect to have a lot there in terms of lyrics, he says. Society says if it sounds like this, you have to do songs about that. But if you just try to fit things together in the most simple way possible, youre just trying to manipulate people, and Im not interested in doing that.

I think of myself as being in the Oklahoma tradition in the same way as Woody Guthrie those of us who came up in Tornado Alley can all trace our lineage back to Woody..

Boland has been mining that territory for pretty much his entire career. Bowing in 1999 with the regionally popular Pearl Snaps a first teaming with Lloyd Maines, who Boland cites as one of several seminal influences on his sonic vision the Stragglers built a rabid following from the Panhandle to the Gulf Coast. Over the intervening half-decade, the band would team with similar kindred spirits from Billy Joe Shaver to Dwight Yoakam compadre Pete Anderson to the late Bob Childers to create an uncompromising body of work, as whip-smart as it is body-moving.

Weve always been lucky enough to work with people who feel the same way we do about things, says Boland. The world doesnt always make sense, but you meet people around the campfires who will be there for you. Thats the big secret, 99 percent of people will share and break bread with you when times are hard.

Boland himself says that he started to figure things out in earnest around the time he and the Stragglers went into the studio to record 2008s Comal County Blue, a set that, as Country Weekly put it, vividly chronicle the thoughts of a regular guy trying to make sense of the world and only occasionally succeeding, while keeping one eye on the reasons he keeps trying.

That disc brought Bolands songs to a wider audience than anything hed done in the past, but the momentum was slowed a bit by his need to take several months off to recover from surgery to remove a polyp from his vocal cord. He took the setback in stride, and now says, in retrospect, it was a good thing in some ways, since it helped teach me to really sing and broke me of the habit of yelling which is an easy habit to develop if you come up singing in Texas honky-tonks.

By the time 2011s palpably redemptive Rancho Alto (to quote the Austin Chronicle) came around, Boland had a firm rein on his instrument, which had grown into a burnished, evocative baritone, and further honed his pensive-but-not-pedantic writing style all of which comes to heady fruition on the Shooter Jennings-produced Dark and Dirty Mile.

From the steeliness of Only One, with its unflagging belief in love in the face of adversity to the wistful regret of the album closing See You When I See You, that strength shines through. It emerges in the two-step friendly rhythms of Nine Times Out of Ten and it burrows deep into the soil on the soulful swing of Lucky I Guess songs that evoke the sight, smell and taste of the red dirt of his home territory.

The t-shirt sellers love that phrase red dirt, because its so simple, says Boland. But it fits. It was coined by the people making the music rust in the ground, blood in the dirt. Its real and its where I come from and what I refuse to give up, no matter what.
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As the child of country legends Jessi Colter and Waylon Jennings, Shooter Jennings might as well have been born on the sawdust floor of a honky tonk. After spending a few years in a little-known hard rock band, Shooter took up the family business and began releasing solid albums of guitar-heavy country in the tradition of his folks. Though Jennings is clearly in touch with country music's past, he is also very much a product of his own time. This gives his music a scruffy alternative vibe that aligns him with contemporaries such as Ryan Adams, Bobby Bare Jr., and the Drive-By Truckers. Jennings played his father in the 2006 film WALK THE LINE. ~ Rovi

- Rovi

Waylon Albright "Shooter" Jennings (born May 19, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter active in the country music and Southern rock genres as well as making his first foray into psychedelic rock in 2009. Signed to Universal South Records, Jennings made his debut with the single "4th Of July" of his 2005 album Put the "O" Back in Country, which peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard country charts. Jennings has since followed with five more albums: Electric Rodeo (2006), The Wolf (2007), Black Ribbons (2009), Family Man (2012), and The Other Life (2013).

- eventsfy

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2729 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220 (US)

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