UPDATED – A Response to Shooter Jennings’ Song “The Gunslinger”

NOTE: Since the video that originally accompanied this story was being purposely presented out-of-context without the new information that Shooter Jennings and one of his top cohorts have admitted to using as many as 19 different aliases to attempt to disrupt this site and spread misinformation, it has been temporarily removed. The transcript can still be found below. It will be added back and made public again for context in the future.

UPDATE – Shooter Jennings Using 13 Different Aliases to Disrupt SCM Comments

(3-25-13) – While researching information on another commenter who was violating Saving Country Music’s comment rules, we unearthed verifiable, indisputable evidence that Shooter Jennings has been using no less than 13 different aliases on the site since March 25th of 2012 to post comments with the intention of starting drama, spreading controversy, misleading this site’s readers about the size and scope of people coming here to defend him, and to dispute the opinions of this website.

Though SCM commenters are welcome to change their online handles, use pseudonyms, post anonymously, use a comment name to try and be funny or prove a point, or even have multiple names if the intention is not to mislead, Shooter Jennings used multiple names to post on the same articles to attempt to make it look like there was more consensus than there was, referred to himself in the third person multiple times, used aliases to spread misinformation, and eventually used one to threaten this site.

Some of the aliases used by Shooter Jennings that have been revealed and verified up to this point are: Jake THe SNake, TSteamroller, Steve, Devils Advocate, Troy, Trent R, Revel, The Revelator, Taylor, The one who tells it like it is, and Steve hole. There also may be others as Saving Country Music continues to try and track down other possible aliases that may have been in violation of the comment rules. Furthermore, other users possibly working in conjunction with Shooter were also using multiple aliases, again with the intent of misleading readers (see below). On one specific article entitled Really Shooter Jennings? Bucky Covington?, five separate aliases were used, not including Shooter Jennings himself who commented on the article under his own name, to mislead readers.

The information of Shooter’s aliases was verified by using the IP address left on comments. IP addresses are like internet fingerprints that are left each time a user leaves a comment on the site. All the above aliases match up with two known IP addresses used by Shooter, one that originates from New York, and one that originates from LA. Shooter’s IP addresses were verified by the 49 different comments Shooter has left on the site under his own user name, “Shooter” that has been verified to be him.

IP addresses are generated by a combination of the user’s device, modem and router, and internet service provider. Though some people can have the same IP address based on various factors, the chances that two SCM readers would have the same IP address are rare, and even more rare that those two readers would post comments, and even more that they would only post comments defending Shooter Jennings while attacking this site. The other possibility could be that it is someone in Shooter’s household posting under the aliases, but it would have to be someone using the same computer he does, the same modem/router on the same ISP. It’s hard to believe any of this would happen without Shooter knowing, especially for 13 different individual people.

IP addresses can also change over time, when users change hardware or service providers. This was taken into account when doing the research. This is also why there is a possibility there are further aliases to discover.

The proof that Shooter has been posting comments under different aliases from the same IP can be seen in the screen shots from the SCM comments dashboard below. The execution is simple. A search is done of all the site’s comments for a specific IP address, and it brings up all matches. The content of the matches verifies motive. The first matching IP address is “66.65.60.122” originating from New York.

This first photo shows this is the IP address Shooter uses when posting under his own name, and how it matches up with the first alias, “Revel.” IP addresses can be found at far left. Shooter’s actual email address has been blocked out for privacy. The other email addresses he uses are not real. The posts the comments are posted on can be seen on the right.

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Here are subsequent photos of the same IP address and different aliases.

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The second IP address 75.83.206.166 comes from Los Angeles. As you can see in the first comment, the name “Revel” is lengthened to “Revelator” and corresponds with the first fake email address. If you check the first comment on the first IP address above, you see they also use the term “relevator” in the email address.

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Some interesting things to take from the alias comments

Numerous times Shooter compliments himself, one time saying, “Shooter’s new record is coming out, and I’d be willing to bet its better than most records that come out.” Also, in an SCM naming Marty Stuart the 2012 Artist of the Year, an alias from Shooter’s IP responds, “Pfft. More like Marty Poppins.” http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/2012-artist-of-the-year-marty-stuart#comment-418125

When I discovered the first grouping of aliases from the 75.83.206.166 IP address after the commenter complained about their comments being erased (they weren’t being erased, they were being sent to moderation because of multiple names), I called them out on it. See comment here: http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/song-review-shooter-jennings-the-white-trash-song#comment-447987 . The next comment left leaves a specific threat, and names the street where I live, which for the record is “Granny.” See comment: http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/song-review-shooter-jennings-the-white-trash-song#comment-448463 . Though we cannot verify the specific death threats that came to Saving Country Music in the recent weeks came from Shooter, they all included my specific address. Those were sent by direct email.

Shooter Jennings has a quote on the top of his website attributed to SCM that says, “Shooter Jennings is the most dangerous, most deceptive artist in the overall country music world right now.”

This comes from an article that has nothing to do with Shooter Jennings. It was about the “Greatest Underground Country Albums of All Time.” Shooter, under the alias TSteamroller, came and left a comment complaining when someone said that Shooter should be on the list. It was during the rebuttal that the notorious comment was left. Here’s the exchange from the article: http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/the-greatest-underground-country-albums-of-all-time#comment-364644

And here is my complete rebuttal, from which the Shooter quote was taken out of context.

At this point, I think the best thing is to not attempt to resolve the differences between Shooter and I, but to appreciate our differences and allow there to be separation to reduce the likelihood of conflict. Make no mistake about it, I think that Shooter Jennings is the most dangerous, most deceptive artist in the overall country music world right now. But out of respect for him, and for folks that don’t want to see drama, I am doing my best to check my anger and opinions. I don’t want there to be conflict. He can stay on his side of the schoolyard, and I’ll stay on mine. Like the teacher used to say in school, just ignore the people you don’t like, and keep your hands to yourself. This is like the Palestinian / Israeli conflict, and people need to respect that small things like a comment on an article that has no bearing on Shooter Jennings can turn the cold war hot and damage both sides.

…and that is exactly what it did when Shooter, under the guise of someone else, took that quote out-of-context and put it at the top of his website.

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Shooter Jennings was not the only one using multiple aliases. Podcaster Jashie P who broadcasts from Shooter’s site also used a total of six aliases, many on the same articles Shooter was using his aliases on. Jashie was using the aliases Andy Falls, Gary Meier, Hector, Trainwreck, A.F., and James. Here’s where I first discovered it, after once again they were complaining that comments were getting deleted. http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/song-review-shooter-jennings-the-white-trash-song#comment-447963 . At the time, I did not know it was Jashie, until he posted another comment on another article under his real name, and then emailed me directly to complain I deleted it. It had gone to moderation because that IP address had been used by multiple aliases. The IP matched up with Jashie, revealing he was the other man behind the aliases.

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c314/kylecor42/jashie-p-alias-1_zpsfbdc322e.jpg

 http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c314/kylecor42/jashie-p-alias-2_zps2a16a7d4.jpg

It was after discovering this that I looked at the other alias grouping more in-depth, and discovered it was Shooter Jennings’ IP address. The most interesting note on Jashie P’s aliases is that he uses them to promote his band in the third person, and also attempt to troll the comments to get SCM to say something negative about his band.

Also another individual who used to broadcast a podcast from Shooter’s site named Donnie Cash was caught last year impersonating former David Allan Coe/Hank Jr. roadie and all-around underground country dignitary Mr. Bandana.

Transcript of Trigger’s Response to Shooter’s “The Gunslinger”

Hello Internet,

shooter-jennings-the-gunslingerMy name is Trigger, or The Triggerman, and I am coming to you from the studio in the Saving Country Music headquarters just outside of Austin, TX. The reason I am coming to you via the miracle of video is because of the seriousness of the topic I want to talk to you about.

I want to publicly and vehemently renounce violence, and threats of violence, to anyone, or from anyone, for any reason, and specifically relating to any reason involving music. This includes threats toward Shooter Jennings or his fans, towards pop country personalities and their fans, or for any disagreements or misunderstandings or different interpretations of what music is good, and what music is not good. I also challenge anyone to comb through the vast archives of Saving Country Music’s content and find instances where violence or threats of violence were leveled at anyone by me.

It has come to my attention from numerous Shooter Jennings’ fans that the last song on his latest album The Other Life called “The Gunslinger” is pointed directly at me. In the song, Shooter says, and I quote, “You better keep your eye on my mother fucking trigger finger.” I want to first say that I am not 100% confident that this song is indeed pointed at me, or pointed at me solely. The first verse seems like it might be about Shooter’s father Waylon Jennings coming to Nashville. The second verse however is clearly aimed at Shooter’s detractors, but I’ll be quick to point out that I am just one of many people that have been critical of Shooter over the years, and despite numerous accusations of a Saving Country Music bias against Shooter, I in no way represent the most vehement Shooter Jennings’ opposition that claims he has no talent, is simply riding off of his daddy’s name, etc. etc. In fact it seems to have escaped many Shooter fans claiming bias that I had never even written a negative review for Shooter until less than a year ago when he released the song “Drinking Side of Country” with Bucky Covington. And even to this day I have written more positive reviews for Shooter than negative, and even in negative or neutral reviews been outspoken in my opinion that Shooter indeed has unique talent all his own, a soulful voice, songwriting skills, and a brilliant creative streak when it is not blundered by bad imagery, poor decision making in the production process, or confusing themes.

Nonetheless, since the target of “The Gunslinger” remains ambiguous in the song, I, along with any Shooter detractor, have every right to feel that his unveiled death threat is being leveled at me. The lack of a clear target in the song makes his threats even more dangerous because it can mutate to fit many people. Sure, there’s probably still a greater likelihood it is aimed at me, seeing how me mentions “Trigger” in the song, and Shooter has a history of lobbing death threats in my direction, including wearing a shirt that said “Shanking Country Music” with two shanks coming down when he appeared at Johnny Cash’s 80th Birthday Celebration right here in Austin. But I am also not going to fall into the trap of claiming the song is about me, so that at some appointed time in the future Shooter can claim it is about someone else and use my claims as evidence of personal conceit and vanity. If people think that I am the target of this song, that’s all that matters. Also, whether “The Gunslinger” is about me or not, it has emboldened numerous of Shooter’s toadies to take his leadership and send me very specific death threats, most of which name my specific physical address, and one of which warned me not to sleep because their plan was to burn my house down with me in it.

And why? Because I like some of Shooter’s songs, but don’t like others? Are we not all entitled to our own opinions? This is ding-dong music for crying out loud. Do Shooter Jennings and his fans not have music that they don’t particularly care for? Why do I have an obligation to love everything that Shooter releases, and if I don’t, that means I am a liar AND I MUST DIE. And what hubris by Shooter Jennings and his fans to say that I am any more harsh towards him than I am any other artist or entity. Are you kidding me? Have you read my coverage of Blake Shelton? I’ve written more negative articles on Blake in the last two months than I’ve written in the last 5 years on Shooter. Have you read anything I’ve written on Florida-Georgia Line? Brantley Gilbert? Luke Bryan for crying out loud? Or how about Mike Curb and Scott Borchetta, Saving Country Music’s true arch-enemies? I’m not sure Shooter Jennings even cracks my Top 10 of most vilified personalities on this site. Now maybe that says something about the excessive negativity of Saving Country Music, but this idea that I am obsessed with Shooter Jennings is quashed with even the most elementary sense of perspective to this site’s wide arching coverage map. And NO opinion given about anything should EVER result in death threats.

And maybe Shooter’s anger doesn’t stem from my “bias” reviews, but my stance that branding music “XXX” was unhealthy, and would never work; an opinion that bore out and was validated indisputably over time. I am peacock proud of standing up against Shooter’s now defunct XXX movement, ESPECIALLY because it was so unpopular to do so at the time. As was asserted at the very beginning, Shooter did not have the patience to see it through, mainstream radio was in no way receptive to the idea, and at no point did the movement gain any legs. All that XXX resulted in was fractured friendships, a strained scene, and turf wars. As Shooter told the corporate country blog site The Boot a couple of days ago, and I quote, “I guess I discovered that I’m a lot more dangerous than I thought I was. I’m just trying to figure out how to navigate life and leave the biggest trail of debris that I can behind.”

But make no mistake, I do not take anything away from Shooter, nor have I ever taken anything away from Shooter for attempting to bolster up-and-coming bands by talking about them, playing them on his radio show, etc. I question the overall effectiveness this all has. It seems its biggest result has been mitigating Shooter’s critics as opposed to any true measurable success enjoyed by these artists with the exception of a chosen few who may have been on the upward trend regardless. To me, changing an opinion about Shooter’s music because he is promoting others or is being nice to you, THAT is what is known as bias. Still, every little bit helps, and Shooter has done a lot promoting smaller artists. What doesn’t help though is the incorrect and uncorroborated claims by Shooter that I sense some sort of “ownership” in a particular scene of music or want to be the only outlet for it. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I challenge anyone to present evidence of this supposed stance by Saving Country Music. Instead what you will find is vehement insistence that it is the artists, bands, labels, festivals, and other entities that make and disseminate the music who have ownership of the music, and whose opinions most matter. I am simply a blogger, and that is all, and I will always be subservient to the music itself, even if in my heart I didn’t want it that way or attempted to make it otherwise. Furthermore, my work for and with numerous other entities, including writing for other periodicals, volunteering at festivals, working with artists on touring and production in ways that many times are never heralded or represented in the content of this site, speaks against this idea that I think I am in charge of anything or that I am at the top of the music pyramid. The point of Saving Country Music has always been service.

And I know what some of you are going to say. Why am I talking all of this stuff so seriously? “The Gunslinger” is just a song. Am I scared? Look, I’m a Texan, and I’m a man, meaning I come from the school that believes that either you shoot someone, you shank someone, you kick their ass, or you don’t. Threat’s are just that. They are the currency of cowards. Either do it, or don’t. The second level of cowardice is not naming the name of the person you are threatening. Some people have paralleled Shooter’s “The Gunslinger” with the Guns & Roses’ song “Get In The Ring.” In that song, specific names were named, and challenged to take them on man on man in a fair fight. “The Gunslinger” is nothing more than unmindfully lobbing grenades from behind a wall and taking random, self-righteous pot shots with no regard for collateral damage, with the underlying objective being to intimidate. But I will not shrink from the principle that everyone has the right to an opinion about music, and that they also have a right to share that opinion without fear of physical retribution or threats. In fact this experience does nothing but emboldens me to stand and give my opinions even more fervently. I’m not saying Shooter doesn’t have a right to make threats in his songs. I would take up arms and fight for the right for Shooter to say whatever he wants through his music. But that doesn’t mean threatening people in music, and about their musical beliefs, isn’t stupid, irresponsible, and an insult to the spirit of the artistic format.

And furthermore, doesn’t Shooter understand that folks writing songs about me, or towards me is what makes me tick? I hear from Shooter’s fans all the time that all I do is bitch about Shooter and write about how songs are about me. If “The Gunslinger” is indeed pointed at Saving Country Music, which I’m not necessarily saying that it is, then this is the mother of all victories for this site, regardless of the context or the content of the song itself. Just as the quote Shooter has prominently displayed at the top of his website does, this song creates separation. I love this stuff because I never want anybody to mistakenly believe I have any affiliation with a man that would brand music “XXX,” fictitiously point a tank at the Country Music Hall of Fame (which by the way, is another example of threatened violence), or wear a T-shirt that says “Shanking Country Music,” a statement that when taken outside the context of any rivalry means the polar opposite of what the title of Saving Country Music embodies. Sure, there’s some overlap in the type of music both Shooter and I enjoy and promote, but there’s also a lot of music Shooter peddles that I want no part of–filth that is even worse than the dribble coming off of Music Row. And don’t assume who I am talking about. Unlike Shooter, I name names. Regardless of a few entities who has attempted to use anti-SCM sentiment as marketing, if I speak out about something or someone, you will know. I want nothing more than for the world to know that Shooter Jennings doesn’t like me so that they can judge me by my enemies as opposed to perceived friends. This is another reason that this assertion that I want to “own” or “control” some scene of music is ridiculous, just as is the one that we all need to come together for the music since were on the same side. Anyone who would point a tank at the Country Music Hall of Fame, or put death threats in a song is far more foe than friend. Shooter can have the “scene” if that is what they are all about. Me, I’m going where the best music is.

And don’t give me any pap about how all of these threats of violence are a joke. I’m not fucking laughing. When all of this started, a 17-year-old female artist I cover named Ruby Jane was in Houston, TX and was carjacked at gunpoint, had everything stolen from her including her phone and ID, and left on the side of the road in the middle of the night. She had a gun pointed right at her head. I’ve had a gun pointed at me in anger as well. These reasons and more are why I recently changed by handle from “The Triggerman” to “Trigger.” People who would make threats of violence against others are people who have never been victims of violence themselves, or had someone close to them interface intimately with violence. Because if they had, they would know this is never a joke.

And the worst part about all of this is that “The Gunslinger” is a really good song. It’s inspired, Shooter’s voice rises, and is not befuddled by his usual use of excessive reverb and chorus. And though I usually second guess Shooter’s decisions on overlaying lead instruments on his music, the saxophone on the song works perfect. But the fact that this song is so good makes it even more dangerous. Am I in fear? No, because even if I’m burned alive in my house tonight, or clipped going into Kroger to buy some Charmin tomorrow, I will have gone down standing for something I believe in, which is the right to have an opinion and express it.

Look, I know that I am a polarizing figure, and I’m okay with that. I don’t care about being liked, I care about being honest. And nowhere will you see me ever claim that I don’t make mistakes. I make mistakes every single day on Saving Country Music in one way or another, and I have made mistakes in the way I have dealt with Shooter Jennings in the past. Nor will you see anywhere where I claim that I am better than anyone else, including Shooter Jennings, or his fans, or my detractors, or even the people who have made death threats toward me. I simply get up in the morning and try to do the best job I can. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail.

Respects to Shooter Jennings and his family, and respects to Shooter’s fans. But I cannot give respect to any threat of violence made towards anybody stemming from a simple music dispute.

People first, then music.

Thanks for reading.

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