Shooter Jennings & Billy Ray Cyrus Join Forces in LA

February 21, 2014 - By Trigger  //  News  //  51 Comments


Photos From Billy Ray Cyrus Facebook Page

Like brothers in country music arms, Shooter Jennings, the son of legendary country music Outlaw Waylon Jennings, and Billy Ray Cyrus, singer of “Achy Breaky Heart” and father of mega pop star Miley Cyrus, met together on stage Wednesday Night (2-19) at the club “Loaded” in Hollywood, California for an installment of the Shooter-hosted “BCR Nights At Loaded” concert series. Both men sporting Aviator sunglasses, shoulder length hair, and long face shadows looked like they were cut from the same country-music-with-a-little-rock cloth as they regaled the crowd of Hollywood revelers.

Billy Ray Cyrus, fresh off the release of his 2nd version and video of “Achy Breaky Heart”—a hip hop collaboration with rapper Buck 22 complete with twerking extra-terrestrials—was the special guest of this last night in the “BCR Nights At Loaded” series. Other performers included Billy Don Burns, Jonathan Tyler, and The Dogmen.

Some may wonder what the Cyrus / Shooter connection is, but apparently the two go way back. Billy Ray tweeted out earlier in the day, “I’m going to join my old friend Shooter Jennings tonight to play a few songs…” Cyrus is known for being a huge Waylon Jennings fan, and Waylon recounted his first meeting with Billy Ray in his autobiography.

One time I was at an awards show, and I heard a voice behind me saying “Mr. Jennings, you’re like a god to me.” I turned around and it was Billy Ray Cyrus, offering his hand for me to shake. All I could think of was, if I’m your god, what does your devil look like?

No word on if the Cyrus / Shooter dynamic duo was just a one-off occurrence or if there may be more collaborations in the future.


51 Comments to “Shooter Jennings & Billy Ray Cyrus Join Forces in LA”

  • Please God, we promise to be good boys and girls… just spare us from Jennings/Cyrus “collaborations”!!


  • Too bad you wouldn’t cover the awesome two other shows that had such great artists as Neal Casal, Ray Wylie Hubbard or Jessie Colter. Not to mention Billy Don Burns who put on an amazing show that night. Is this just to make fun of a family connection to The Cyrus family? Seems like your sarcasm seems self absorbed?


    • Hey, I mentioned Billy Don Burns above, and if there had been significant pictures and info available about Billy Don like it was about Billy Ray Cyrus, maybe I would have included it. I love Billy Don and he’s a former Saving Country Music Song of the Year winner. But it looks like the emphasis that night was on ol’ Billy Ray, and why wouldn’t it be? He’s a huge, well-recognized star.

      The reason I didn’t cover the other two events is because quite honestly, I didn’t know these shows were going on until I got a notification from WAYLON JENNINGS Facebook page about this one.


      • The emphasis wasn’t on Billy Ray dude. He did 3 songs and his name was never highlighted any differently on the show poster I grabbed off the wall that night. Billy Don luckily did 30 minutes worth of music. Billy Rays 3 songs were fun but didnt even close the show. It just seems stupid to post about an event that you didn’t even attend bro.


        • As I said above to this very comment you’re responding to….

          “…if there had been significant pictures and info available about Billy Don like it was about Billy Ray Cyrus, maybe I would have included it.”

          Shooter Jennings playing with Billy Done Burns or Jonathan Tyler is not necessarily newsworthy. Shooter playing with Billy Ray Cyrus, that is definitely newsworthy, and we all know why. Criticize it all you want, but like you said, I wasn’t there, so do you want me to lie about what transpired and act like I was? The only interface I had with the event was the internet, and the only significant information was from Billy Ray Cyrus and these pictures.


          • Waylon liked Billy Ray. He sang at Waylon’s memorial bro.


          • That would denote that Billy Ray liked Waylon, not necessarily the other way around, just like the quote from his autobiography. Though I can’t say I know how Waylon felt about Billy Ray later in life.

            You said “bro” again.


  • O’doyle rules!


  • I’m an unabashed Shooter fan, but I’m not the least bit excited about this collaboration. Reading this article just makes me depressed about the state of this genre of music (whatever that is), not only because Shooter is working with Billy Ray, but the fact that it is being covered here at all seems to point to bigger problems. There was a time where I had 4 blogs/websites I could turn to frequently for reviews and coverage of the type of music I liked, and there were always cool new records to check out. Of them, Ninebullets has been dead for a while (hope the regime change helps), Moonrunners is dead for all intents and purposes, Farce the Music is hit and miss, and even SCM seems to have regressed. I don’t blame this on Trigger. It just seems like reviews of new music are few and far between, and even then, the tunes rarely light my fire. Maybe its just me and my tastes have changed or I’ve become old and jaded. Most of the bands I used to love seem to have stagnated or broken up. The DBTs aren’t what they used to be. Isbell is too emotional for me any more. Ragweed’s dead, and most of their red dirt contemporaries should be. Shooter’s very inconsistent. Sure, I like Sturgill and John Moreland’s not bad, but I can’t find much else to get into. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Americana has made inroads to the mainstream, consequently shrinking the underground. Sorry for the rant, but does any one else feel like this?


    • archenklos,

      I think you raise some very important points and questions, and I don’t think you’re the only one that feels this way. It would probably take an entire article or couple of articles to address them in full, but I will say a couple of things here:

      Saving Country Music is committed, and is more committed than ever to covering worthy music in a positive manner, including writing reviews and trying to discover new, underground and obscure artists. Believe it or not, I wrote more reviews in 2013 than ever before, and am on target to write even more in 2014. At the same time, I’m writing a lot more articles in general. I used to write about 5-7 on average a week, and now I’m writing roughly 10 to 13. So the reviews may look a little more spaced out. This also doesn’t take into account that the music I’m writing about might not appeal to you. But I just want to emphasize that the commitment is still there.

      As for the quality of the music, especially in the “underground” there is no question that it has fallen off a cliff, and this started happening years ago, and is only getting worse now. It doesn’t mean there isn’t still some good music out there, but the “underground” especially is running off the last fumes of a few landmark albums released in the mid oughts. One of the reasons Americana seems to be getting all the attention is that any artist with any good sense would completely avoid the underground and other certain independent channels at all costs. One of the reasons Sturgill Simpson has been such a success story is because he completely avoided the underground, and the typecasting that comes with that “scene.” He never signed to Farmageddon Records, he never played Muddy Roots, he’s not out there touting Ameripolitan. As much as the underground and other independent scenes feel like big families and the fans of the music love the sense of exclusivity and love to pat themselves on the back about the support they give artists, those scenes erect a hard ceiling over their favorite artists, not allowing them to grow in any appreciable manner.

      What’s the solution? I think the solution is for people to attempt to broaden their perspectives as independent music fans, to seek out the best music instead of what is cool in a “scene.” Aside from the Texas scene, no independent roots scene will ever be big enough to legitimately support any one artist, and many of these scenes are in full retraction mode, shrinking as people get older and the music gets worse.

      Also, the scenes themselves need to invite constructive criticism instead of being so defensive and ostracizing anyone for questioning things, threatening to “kick their ass” simply for broaching important subjects that effect the health of the scene.

      The narrowing of perspective in my opinion is the biggest issue facing independent music, and Saving Country Music is committed to doing everything I can to adress it head on.


      • Trigger, this is so well said. I think your readers should read or re-read your reviews of Matt Woods, Dead Man’s Blues.


        • Matt Woods is performing at both Muddy Roots and MoonRunners Music Festival. Roger Alan Wade is also on MoonRunners. Does that mean these artists can no longer grow and they are stuck being typecast? What about Ol’ Biram or Possessed by Paul James. Both also MoonRunners and Muddy Roots particeipants past or present,


          • See, your comment is a perfect example of what I stated above…

            “…the scenes themselves need to invite constructive criticism instead of being so defensive and ostracizing anyone for questioning things…simply for broaching important subjects that effect the health of the scene.”

            First, nobody said anything about playing festivals.

            Second, Roger Alan Wade isn’t an underground artist, he’s a songwriter who’s written songs for Willie and Waylon and had a #1 back in the 80’s. Scott H. Biram predates the country underground and has had a sustainable career for a decade. Possessed by Paul James is a perfect example of finding success by searching outside underground infrastructure for support by being featured on NPR and CMT, enjoying local radio play and widespread press coverage, and getting an opportunity to play bigger festivals this year. Nobody said any of these artists playing any festival or show would be bad for them. However, being typecast as “one of those Shooter/Hank3 post punk roots bands” can be, and I have materially seen this happen with specific bands. I’ve also watched other bands fall apart and dissolve, or have to scale back from lack of support. I’ve also watched other acts flourish when they get away from the underground, from Sturgill Simpson, to Larry & His Flask, to Reverend Peyton. It doesn’t mean they can’t still rub elbows with the underground, but the underground cannot, has not, and never will be able to sustain any band or artist to the point where they can raise a family.

            Matt Woods’ “Deadman’s Blues” captures this lack of true support perfectly, and that’s why I named it my Song of the Year last year. Sure, you roll into a town and everyone will be your buddy and give you lots of drugs and you’ll have a great time, but in the end you’ll end up detached from your family, or dead. Or you’ll drop out and become a part-time musician or not play at all, which many of these brilliantly-talented artists have done.

            The sentiment by archenklos is very real, and he’s not alone. Everyone, including savingcountrymusic.com, needs to step up their game, be willing to be critical and ask the tough questions, and talk about pragmatic ways of supporting artists. And in my opinion, “scenes” and their fans being more inclusive by broadening their perspectives is one way to do that. Or you can get defensive, and let the wisdom archenklos conveyed pass you by.


      • I think you should broaden your mind and tastes. How bout starting with the fact that you weren’t even at this show bro. Billy Ray might have kicked ass? You don’t know. You weren’t there. People are calling this a collaboration? They sang one song together. Grow up bro. Get a life.


        • I think it probably did kick ass, that’s why I reported on it! And don’t dash my hopes for a Shooter / Cyrus 7-inch.

          You have called me “bro” three times.


          • Actually, Trig, he’s called you “bro” FOUR times.
            “Billy Ray might have kicked ass”???? The only way Billy Ray Cyrus can kick ass is in the literal sense, not the figurative sense.
            I’m guessing Dodgerfan 1980 is a big time Miley Cyrus fan and he takes offense to any negativity towards Mr. Cyrus. Just a thought.


      • Trig, i agree with you we have to stretch a little bit and braden our musical horizions. I saw a guy this past Saturday night named Matt Hoggatt out of Mississippi play solo accoustic in Port Aransas, Texas who was great. Had a very John Prine Vibe to his writing and playing style. The record is called “Hotter than fish grease.” He is starting work on his second record with well known Memphis songwriter Keith Sykes as the producer. It was really cool to descover some new stuff that was excellent out there.


    • I strongly disagree that SCM has regressed. For one, Trigger’s writing style has gotten far more mature and respectful over the years. Instead of the black-and-white mainstream vs. underground war mentality that used to dominate the articles here, the focus nowadays is much more on judging music fairly regardless of the source.

      With regards to the music itself, the style covered by this site has shifted from punk-leaning country to more acoustic, melodic, songwriting-based country, which is far closer to the roots of country and, in my opinion, contains far more sonic and lyrical beauty.


  • Hahahahahaha…

    No, but seriously… hahahahaha.

    Makes that Bucky Covington video look like Willie’s first picnic.


  • Perhaps the biggest sin committed by this article was forgetting to include the delightful set of music performed by the Hedgehog himself, sir Ron Jeremy!


    • I saw a clip of Rons piano and harmoica skills it made me laugh and frankly I’ve heard worse !


  • If the fate of country music is in the hands of Billy Ray and Shooter, it is probably as good as dead. Don’t get me wrong, they are both talented. Billy Ray has a great voice and has written some awesome songs (and some turds). Shooter is a talented singer/songwriter as well. But, Billy Ray went way off the reservation with his last several singles; and Shooter hasn’t done much lately that I would consider great traditional country music. There is no one left, on the radio, that can save country music. The only hopes, Jamey Johnson, Chris Hennessee, etc…, either don’t get radio play or go pop-country to make a living. (Randy Houser, i.e.)


  • Oh Lordy. I’d be able to stomach Billy Ray more if he was still rocking the bleached mullet and chest-exposing plaid hoodies.

    My toddler was wearing his pants on his head a few days ago and he still looked more badass than Billy Ray does lately. And definitely more authentic.


  • It’s probably just a one-off, but that doesnt stop it from being confusing. The Bucky collaboration (whatever the hell it was) was a head-scratcher in itself that I had almost completely forgotten about. I’m not going to talk shit on Bucky because the guy gets enough of it and I have no clever way to knock the guy but the only thing that stayed in my memory about the video was Shooter’s Biram t-shirt. There might have been a cool-looking car too. Anyway, Shooter seems to have no fear of ANYone damaging his cred and if this were some attempt by Billy Ray to gain some kind of cred, then why did he already hurt himself by recutting a hip hop version of the song that both made him and destroyed him? Why some 10 years after it stopped being funny to like that song for ironic reasons, would he tear open that wound again? I can’t deny that underneath all of the horseshit, hate/hype, and worn to death jokes Billy Ray Cyrus has a good voice. It’s hard for me not to wonder what he might have been had he gone a different route all those years ago.

    I’ve probably spent too much time making run-on sentences and thinking about this already, because I would be amazed if this led to anything bigger. But hey, if it does, I’ll be there to listen with open ears and an open mind.


  • R.I.P. country music. I spend so many wonderful hours with you. I knew you would leave someday, but now, I know you’re probably gone forever…


  • I remember thinking when I saw that new hip hop version, “Man, Billy is really trying to look like Shooter or something, for some reason”.


  • ROFLMAO so Billy Ray thinks he’s an outlaw now. He always been nothing but a joke.


  • Cocaine Cowboys.


  • Hey, props to Shooter for selling out as much as I did!!! Like I said when I got paid 30 silver pieces to rat out JC and the Posse….It’s all about that money!!!


  • In other news, Shooter and BCR media has got 4 albums dropping for Record Store day! Including a Heirophant/Black Ribbons follow up. Details are scarce, but I’ve dug everything BCR has released thus far, so I’m pretty stoked to see what the other 3 will be!


  • So what you’re saying is that Waylon wasn’t a big fan of Billy Ray, huh? ;) I have no opinion of the man but what did Waylon have against him? Just “Achy Breaky Heart”?

    Also, what’s your opinion of this show, Trig? I noticed that you didn’t really provide your opinion on the proceedings like you normally do.


    • I have no opinion of the show because I wasn’t there. That is why this was a news story and not a review.


      • Sorry, I should have rephrased my question. I know that you weren’t there. I was more asking your opinion of the collaboration in and of itself. You don’t necessarily have to be at the show for that.


  • It should be all bro’s responsibility to read all the posts before adding one of your own, lest we start sounding redundant.

    Thanks, bro’s.
    One more time:
    Trigger wasn’t there.


  • Also, Shooter never posted the pictures on his social media channels. None. Billy Don Burns had pictures up the next day. So, there was other videos and photos non related to BRC that you could have posted about since people who view this site are more likely to be fans of BDB rather than BRC.


    • Bro. I love this site just like Toby Keith love’s his bar.


  • I love Shooter. He’s the best thing going. Bro


  • I don’t know, Bro. I wasn’t there. But even if I base the performance and the collaboration on past offerings from Billy Ray, I’d take Some Gave All over Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan. IF you put a gun to my head and force me to choose, I’ll take “Achy Breaky Heart” over Tim McGraw’s latest offering, too.

    Billy Ray and Shooter Jennings are getting about as much airplay right now as Jennings Sr is, so regardless of what they are doing, their collaboration has very little to do with saving country music. There are much bigger threats.


  • Just a warning this might become a little bit of a rant. First off I am an avid SCM reader I originally listened to pop radio country when I discovered Jamey Johnson which eventually lead me here and I slowly but surely discovered and enjoyed good country music. SCM is pretty much the only place I go to discover new music and I thank you for that, but I see more and more TMZesque headlines here and it is extremely dissapointing. So shooter played a couple of songs with billy ray who cares ? For all we know he’s a decent guy and he wanted to play a couple songs with Waylon’s kid, what’s shooter suppose to do say fuck you people might question my country cred. I could definitely understand it if they were starting the “Achy Breaky Heart Tour” but come on this just seems like a headline to get people riled up over nothing. Full disclosure I enjoy most of Shooter’s music but am in no way a huge Shooter fan.


    • Just fore fitting the argument that this story fits a TMZ style right off the bat, I still think the observation that Saving Country Music has been trending towards a TMZ style of coverage says more about your reading habits than the trajectory of this site. The focus of Saving Country Music last week was the Ameripolitan Awards and the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, and I ran multiple stories on both, and devoted way more time to those topics than anything TMZ related. TMZ is going going to spend 8 hours at an event live blooging about it, and then post 25 pictures of country artists from a professional photographer, nor ar they going to post an in-depth business analysis of the media environment surrounding country music. Saving Country Music has been around for six years, and has always posted stupid little stories like this. If you think this is bad, go read some stuff I wrote in the first year. It makes TMZ look like Faulkner.


  • Ameripolitin hahahahahahaha

    What a joke. Who gives a fuck? Did Marty Stuart win artist/badass of the century?


    • How did I know before even checking that this comment originated from southern California?

      I have not seen Marty Stuart associated whatsoever with the Ameripolitan Awards.

      I have numerous issues with Ameripolitan myself, but to think that nobody gives a fuck about something just because you don’t is what is known as vanity.

      But to answer the question, Dawn Sears, whose fighting off Stage 3 Cancer, and was in tears when accepting her award and said, “I’ve never won anything in my life,” my guess is she cared. So did the widow of Ralph Mooney who made the trip to hand out the award named after her husband. Those are a couple of examples of people who gave a fuck.


  • This is relevant, Trig, but you focus rather myopically (or, certainly, very heavily, when you are not focusing on Bocephus) on Shooter and any things he does which aren’t consistent to the advancement of authentic country music.

    When an artist has a show or serve as a warm-up band, it is rather common to not always have his or her music to sync with that of the feature artists.

    I suspect, but certainly don’t know, that Marty’s guests on his show wouldn’t always pass an authentic country music purity test, but Marty is an unheralded icon of our genre(s) to me.

    Hank III, whom I believe almost all of us to be a bona fide authentic country/roots musician, has toured with some folks who don’t play our kind of music.

    And his Assjack shows, which I like, are certainly not what SCM follows, but you don’t ride him hard for doing something different (like you do with Aaron Lewis).

    I enjoyed the first several of Shooter’s CDs quite a bit, but his last one was awful, so the jury is still out on him from my perspective.

    And I certainly don’t respect him for doing the duet (or whatever they did) with the pretty boy with the blond hair (whose name has mercifully left the recesses of my memory).

    But I think that you may want to hold people most of us view as important role models in our genre(s) as you do Shooter, Bocephus, etc.

    But it’s your site, amigo.


    • CAH,

      I think you’re reading WAY too much into the Marty Stuart reference in an alias comment. I’m not exactly sure what it’s about. I could guess of course. But I would guarantee it has nothing to do with Hank3, Hank Jr, or somehow trying to tie a parallel between my Shooter coverage and some sort of perceived hypocrisy through Marty Stuart.

      As an aside, when I caught Shooter Jennings perpetrating 13 different aliases in comments on this site a while back, one of the comments that was tied to Shooter was a criticism of Marty Stuart when I named him my “Artist of the Year” two years ago. I also just ran a “10 Badass Moments” article on Marty Stuart. I don’t know the specifics, but I do know that Marty Stuart’s current manager (and the manager for Sturgill Simpson, incidentally) used to be the manager of Shooter for years.


      –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


      • That is pretty sleazy behavior on Shooter’s part.

        I suspect he’s not the only person to penetrate the site with self-serving garbage, but it is certainly shabby.

        It’s kind of funny that Sturgill sounds so much like Shooter’s daddy, who is probably right behind DAC as my all-time favorite country artist.


        • For what it’s worth, Trigger’s review and the comments motivated me to buy an album of Sturgill’s music, when I haven’t been able to bring myself to give new “country” artists the time of day for some years. And I’m very glad that I did pay attention and buy it, it’s great. I know nothing about the man, could care less what he looks like, but he sure can sing and play.


  • hey trig! I almost went to that, my producer and his girlfriend were going down there, invited me to tag along, I thought Jessie was playing too that night, but I guess not!

    If I make it out to the next one i can send you some pictures!


  • This was actually a fun time and a good night. Billy Don Burns and Shooter are recording some stuff right now in Joshua Tree. Shooter and Billy Ray sang I’ve always been crazy, it was actually really good and nice to hear some Waylon. Billy Ray wasn’t as much as of train wreck as I thought he would be, and he did play guitar pretty well too. They also did Achy Breaky Heart but it was more fiddle based and sounded very bluegrass, then Billy Ray played one song with the band solo it was, Amazing Grace. Billy Don Burns was awesome he played solo acoustic. His stories before all the songs made it a great performance as well. Shooter played a great show with Jonathan Tyler, and The Dogmen. Jonathan Tyler is a ripper on guitar!!! For $10 on a Wednesday night in Hollywood it was a great time. Shooter also gave out free tickets to Scott H. Biram which was cool, I was going to go to that show anyway, but I’m excited I can go for free and spend money on merch to support the bands.


  • PS.. I’m not shooter or related to him or even buddies with him. so please post my comment, haha.


  • Check out the new music video for Johnny Cash’s tune “She Used To Love Me A Lot”



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