Song Review – Shooter Jennings’ “The Deed & The Dollar”

February 8, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  87 Comments

I had a dream last night that I woke up from a long sleep and was the only writer left in the country music blogsphere that hadn’t succumbed to the cult of personality of Shooter Jennings and could actually write an objective review. Then I realized that I was wide ass awake.

Last week Shooter Jennings released the video for “The Deed & The Dollar”, his first official single to his upcoming album Family Man due out in March. You think this is going to be a negative review, don’t you? The truth is, there is a lot to admire and give credit to in this song and it’s video. I just continue to be dumbfounded by the almost idolatry that some pay to anything Shooter Jennings poops out, and I feel the need to offer some perspective. And my perspective on “The Deed & The Dollar” is that it’s “just okay.”

What I give Shooter credit for on this song is for trying, and for how he tried. Just like with his song “Outlaw You” (which for the folks that say I hate everything Shooter does, I gave a very positive review), he releases this song through video; a savvy move. The songs biggest strength is the video, and Shooter’s willingness to show a deep submissiveness to his lover in a sharp, chivalrous message that is both brave and effective as a vehicle to covey emotion through story.

But that’s about where my kudos end. The song’s two-note Waylon beat and bass drum are neat, but a little too obvious, and though the vulnerability Shooter displays through the lyrics is the best part, by the end of the song, it feels tired, as does some of the forced rhymes and witticisms that may make you grin, but never really score deep. In the end this song is just very soft. There’s nothing bad or wrong with it, there’s just nothing deeply engaging. I said in a review for the Turnpike Troubadours a couple of weeks ago, “real country fans are hard on positive love songs.” I think “The Deed & The Dollar” proves why this is true.

"Family Man" artwork is done by Keith Neltner, and "The Deed & The Dollar" video is by Judd Films - Hank3's former creative duo.

However some of the softness of the song might lead to some moderate mainstream success. Last week, Shooterworld was all abuzz that this video was #1 on CMT for a few days. It’s certainly an accomplishment worth noting, and it was likely helped along by the smart choice of including shots of Shooter’s celebrity fiance Drea de Matteo in it. But in the end, it settled farther down the charts, probably where the song belongs.

Something else I’ll say in the defense of this song, just like the other song from Family Man that has been released, the very unusual and easily-misunderstood “Southern Family Anthem”, this song will probably be helped once it is in the context of the “Family Man” album concept.

If Shooter Jennings’ “XXX” movement is ever really going to take shape and create any sort of consensus, it is going to have to do it through the music. He can build all the little satellite web properties he wants, and do all manner of behind-the-scenes nation building (which at this point has had mixed results at best), but in the end, it comes down to the music.

“The Deed & The Dollar” is just too soft to create any sort of mainstream to underground translation. Some dude sitting on CMT with a backwards baseball cap and a Tap Out T-shirt is not going to watch this and through osmosis get in to “Josephus and the George Jonestown Massacre” whose sticker is stuck on Shooter’s guitar in the video.

Family Man may eventually become that breakthrough album, but it is hard to see “The Deed & The Dollar” becoming a breakout song, in the underground or the mainstream.

1 1/4 of 2 guns up.

87 Comments to “Song Review – Shooter Jennings’ “The Deed & The Dollar””

  • Too sentimental for my tastes, though it amuses me that he named his kid Alabama.

    • Alabama Gypsy Rose no less! He tried to cover all the bases.

  • They cant all be hits i thought it was fine like lots of Shooters stuff good sound little Rock to Country Blues to Funky thats what we are love jazz but dont see it selling & neither is bullshit music by who ever brings it out.ya it aint his 20th cd but its a nother notch in history.Real music been gone or at least underground for years look at Dale Watson been out for lot of years still no air play & in my oppion he the best of real music so if you dont like it turn it off but never say that writing,playing,helping others aint talent.only some will get the point rest go hide didnt need poor input need positive musican input now thats worth reading thanks BKD

  • I see what you mean about the positive love song. However it’s a nice respite from the devil worshipin’ and womanizing songs all over the underground country music. I like the old school Waylon feel on this. We’ll see how it translates to the mainstream though.

    • “However it’s a nice respite from the devil worshipin’ and womanizing songs all over the underground country music.”

      I strongly disagree with that characterization of underground country music, though I wholeheartedly understand it. And one of the reasons this stereotype exists is from the way underground country is being portrayed by XXX and it’s affiliates. In my opinion, this stereotype is the gravest issue facing underground country, and could kill it off as a viable movement if it hasn’t yet. Some folks think I am on a “crusade” against this “devil worshipin'” when in truth it has it’s place in the underground just like singer/songwriter stuff and neo-traditionalism. But it’s gone WAY too far, and was parody 3 years ago. Now, it’s just idiocy.

      Here’s something I wrote about it a while back:


      Good comment!

      • I think part of the reason why people consider underground music to be “devil worshiping'” is because of who the figure head of the movement is; Hank III. When you think underground you think Hank III. Kinda like when you think Basketball you think Michael Jordan or if you think Professional Wrestling you think Hulk Hogan, even though they are just small but influential parts of each respected business. Personally I don’t care for Hank III or any of the artists that model themselves after him and thank GOD that he didn’t turn me off from the underground movement before I had a chance to experience artists like J.B. Beverley, Whitey Morgan, RAW, etc.

      • Hank III is part of it but Bob Wayne’s lyrics kind of turn me off as well. I bought the Outlaw Carnie album based off your review, and even though I think the actual music is really good, most of the lyrics just turn me off. Some songs I don’t mind, but some others such as “Work of The Devil”, are just kind of ridiculously over the top. It makes me wish I could get an instrumental version of the whole album lol. Now songs like “Driven By Demons” and “Road Bound” I see as fun songs, that you can play and not actually take the lyrics seriously. So Bob Wayne, Hank III, Honky Tonk Hustlas, etc. are what I’m referring to and I’m sure there are others I can’t think of at the moment.

        • Couldn’t agree more Kevin. That type of music totally turns me off from an artist. I listen to albums, just not individual songs and if I can’t listen to a whole album w/o you mentioning your love for the devil then I won’t bother supporting you as a musician.

        • I do agree that Hank III as the figure head has lead to this typecasting as well, but I think the bigger problem has been the parody and aping of Hank3 by a flood of bands has made it appear that this is ALL of what underground country is. It is easy to overlook one guy. But when you look past him and there’s a dozen more, your concerns are validated.

          Since Saving Country Music does not support many of these bands, they have turned to XXX and it’s affiliates. That is where the XXX quotient has come in. I do support Bob Wayne, though I will say I don’t think his last album did not represent him as good as I would have liked. But when you hear songs like “Blood to Dust” and “27 Years”, you “get him as an artist, and then you can embrace his silly songs and understand his sarcasm. As for the Honky Tonk Hustlas, I broached this exact subject in a review I did for them:


          “This is what the Honky Tonk Hustlas do in South of Nashville, and it not only drags them down, it drags Hank III down, and all other bands who have these hard-edged songs but include some originality or diversity in their projects as well. Hell, it is dragging me down, because I have to answer to critics who say this “whiskey, devil” stuff is all I cover. The lyrics on the album are so stultifyingly bad, it oozes out to infect other projects, and the independent country scene in general, perpetuating negative stereotypes.”

          • Trigger, can you go back and look at your Bob Wayne blogs, specifically the review of his last album? You seemed pretty excited about it, comparing/tossing names in with it like Cash, Kristofferson, Keen.

            So for you now to say you didn’t think it was a good representation of Bob Wayne, is a bit confusing to me. Can you clear this up?


          • I was excited about the album and I stand behind everything I said about it. That doesn’t mean that I can also be of the opinion that swapping out a few of his silly songs with some of his deeper songs like “27 Years” or “Final Walk” would have represented him better to people as a songwriter.

            And as far as you trying to sway this blog into a Jamey Johnson direction, I am not going to allow you to do it. It has already been muddied up enough by Adam Sheets typecasting my readers as ignorant on country love songs.

  • I think this review is perfectly fair. I would say this song is good, and I really dig the Waylon beat. However, it’s not the song I’m going to play over and over. I’m not sure if that’s just because I don’t have a good enough relationship to listen to a positive love song though. That being said, I still have high hopes for this album.

    • That’s an excellent point. I first heard this song almost a year ago, along with the rest of “Family Man” and “The Other Life” (which is coming in September) and, at the time didn’t strike me as one of the best in the batch. It’s still not my favorite (that would be “Born Again” or “Wild and Lonesome”) but now that I’m in a semi-stable relationship, I like it a lot more.

  • First I want to say I like this song. I don’t love it & I don’t hate it.

    Second something you said bothers me a bit…

    “If Shooter Jennings’ “XXX” movement is ever really going to take shape and create any sort of consensus, it is going to have to do it through the music. He can build all the little satellite web properties he wants, and do all manner of behind-the-scenes nation building (which at this point has had mixed results at best), but in the end, it comes down to the music.”

    It comes down to the music? I agree with the statment but ain’t you the one who always says “It’s about the people first not the music”? I’m not trying to pick a fight or anything put I have to call you out on this one.

    • I think in this case we’re talking about two birds of different feathers. When I say it should be about “people first, then music”, what I am talking about is issues and music and how we relate to them, I’m not necessarily talking about leadership or the appeal of music. When I talk about building consensus through music, what I mean is that for a music movement to get off the ground, there has to be a wide-ranging or deep appeal for that music in people, and in people that are not already involved in it. You can have a figure head or an complex organization all you want, but if average Joe’s don’t listen to the music and really like it, it is never going to get any bigger. Kurt Cobain was not a leader. In fact he hated the attention and success and killed himself because of it. It was the music that led the grunge movement. Johnny Rotten was not a leader either.

      No matter how much people like Shooter or the idea of XXX, without music that can create an appeal in folks that don’t already appeal to this music anyway, there will be no consensus.

  • “Shooter Jennings last week released “The Deed & The Dollar”, his first official single to his upcoming album Family Man due out in March…. Just like with his song “Outlaw You” (which for the folks that say I hate everything Shooter does, I gave a very positive review), he releases this song through video; a savvy move.”

    Actually, the single was released on December 14th.

    As for the rest of the review, I don’t disagree with it, but at the same time I think that had a different artist recorded this song it would be hailed by some as a masterpiece and a change of pace that shows they’re not all about devil worshiping and heavy metal.

    • “I think that had a different artist recorded this song it would be hailed by some as a masterpiece and a change of pace that shows they’re not all about devil worshiping and heavy metal.”

      Why don’t you just come out and say what you want to say? I know what you’re implying, you know what you’re implying, and so does everyone else. So why not just say it?!? Grow a pair of testicles and say what you mean to say, which is…

      “If HANK3 had recorded this song it would be hailed by YOU (The Triggerman) as a masterpiece and a change of pace…”

      First off, why is there a contingent of folks trying to make this into a Shooter vs. Hank3 fight? Did I mention Hank3 in this review? Is that fair to either artist?

      And second, though you and others might continue to try and typecast me as a Hank3 puppet, it’s not going to work my friend. It was outmoded 2 1/2 years ago. Conemporize to 2010 at least! The last review I wrote for Hank3 was a negative one, and there’s hundreds of Hank3 fans that hate me because they think I hate him. So how does this fit into your equation?


      Disagree with me all you want. This is my OPINION, and that’s all it is, and it is perfectly understandable for opinions to be different. But if you want to be taken seriously, leave that bullshit ambiguity to Facebook and Twitter because I got no truck for it around here. It leads to misunderstanding and drama.

      I changed the wording up top to reflect the release date.

      • “Why don’t you just come out and say what you want to say? I know what you’re implying, you know what you’re implying, and so does everyone else. So why not just say it?!? Grow a pair of testicles and say what you mean to say, which is…

        “If HANK3 had recorded this song it would be hailed by YOU (The Triggerman) as a masterpiece and a change of pace…””

        Because you are only one of the people I’m referring to. Along with the rest of the cult of personality of Hank3.

        I loved your review of “Ghost to a Ghost”. Allow me to do a quick review of “The Wolf” here and now: it kinda sucked.

        Now, why the Hank3 vs. Shooter thing here? Because certain people hating on this song (not you), seem to think love songs have no place in country music and have clearly never explored the genre beyond “Straight to Hell”

  • Your dumbfounded by the idolatry that some pay to Shooter yet, I feel the same way about you when Hank 3 poops out his dog and other stupid sounds and then you put it up for some kind of album of the year award. C’mon Man.

    • James,

      I have given out “Albums of the Year” since 2008, and every one of those years Hank3 has put out an album. Never have I named a Hank3 album the “Album of the Year”, and I think I have been clearly on the record saying I think his music trailed off significantly after 2006’s “Straight to Hell”. In fact the last album review I wrote for him was decisively negative; a lot more negative than this song review was. Check it out:


      You and others can try to typecast me or this review as some Hank3 vs. Shooter argument, but I think that is being unfair to both artists. What you should probably take it as is my honest feelings on a song that is not bad, but is only moderately good.

  • Personally I like this song and the rawness of it. I’ll admit I didn’t care for it at first but it has grown on me. Although this isn’t one of those songs that I’m gonna play over and over again. I hope he has some more upbeat songs on his new album. Knowing Shooter he will so that’s good. As for the mention by the devil worshipping and such in underground country I think he has a point there. There does tend to be alot of artists in this genre that sing about drugs, devil worshipping, death,etc. while I don’t mind some of it because it shows the both sides of normal life, the heaven and hell/sinner and saint aspect but there does tend to be too much of that some times. I don’t know if I blame that on the current state of mainstream music because the slower sad thoughtful songs get overlooked in regards to happy go lucky songs as mentioned in an article I read about Ronnie Dunn’s new music. It mentioned that his song Cost of Livin’ was at the top of the charts then quickly dove to the bottom and the writer accused Cumulus Radio Executives and public’s wanting of feel good booty shaking songs.

  • Reading some of the comments about the song being too sentimental, I gotta wonder if these people have ever listened to Waylon or Willie or even DAC, all of whom recorded way more love songs than songs about how fuckin’ badass they are. Check out “We Had It All,” “Dreaming My Dreams,” Willie’s entire “Phases and Stages” record, etc. If you don’t dig that, stick with “Cunt of a Bitch” (great song, by the way) or, better yet, Justin Moore.

    • I don’t appreciate that characterization of me, or my readers. Over the years, I have found my readers to be very open-minded and educated on music, and I think they are quite aware of the importance of love songs in country music beyond the superstar names in the Outlaw movement.

      Maybe what you are missing here is that as I have asserted in my review and many commenters have said (except the ones that have an unusual and out-of-place obsession with Hank3) is that the song lacks an appeal, and I think that was also validated by how even though there was a slight amount of success with the video on CMT, propped up by gerrymandering of Shooter devotees watching the video on repeat, eventually it disappeared.

      It is my opinion, and others opinions. And I don’t think it is fair or true to assert that if you do not like this song, it is because you’re uneducated on music.

      • The people I’m talking about are a vocal minority. And you’re not one of them. Maybe the song does lack appeal, but you can’t blame the guy for trying. The point is, would you criticize a Hank3 song (or a Rachel Brooke or J.B. Beverley song for that matter) for lacking mainstream country radio appeal or would you hail that as one of the song’s strengths?

        • “Maybe the song does lack appeal, but you can’t blame the guy for trying.”

          From the review:

          “What I give Shooter credit for on this song is for trying, and for how he tried.”

          Look Adam, I just feel like you’re tilting at windmills here. You’re making this case against a “vocal minority”, but if SCM is such a den of Hank3 sympathy, then why haven’t we seen even one of these points yet?

          We are just going to have to agree to disagree I guess, because I’m tired of the back and forth.

    • I’m not a big Shooter fan, and this song doesn’t do much to change that. But it is way better than Outlaw You. I think the sentimental nature of it is what’s most appealing. Lyrically I think it’s not bad at all,…genuine and not forced. I just can’t come around to the canned production sound of pretty much all his music…..possibly a combination of the of lack of uniqueness of his voice, arrangements, and song writing. They don’t all have to be unique, but it would help if at least one of them was. That being said, this song may at least cause me to listen to the album.

    • I’m definately not one of those people who dislike slower well thought out songs whether it’s a love song or not. I really appreciate those slower songs. This one just didn’t strike me as much as songs like “Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue” by Biram or “Bar Room Beauty” by Hellbound Glory or “Flood’s a Comin’ by Josh Huber, or even anything Chris Knight sings.

      • Oh yea, Louie, I agree, although I do think “Barroom Beauty” is a bit different love song… but “Still Drunk” and “Sweet Thing” by Biram are higher on my list than this tune. I do love that Waylon feel to it though, hoping that carries a bit into the rest of the album.

        Not to start a “love song” debate, but Johnson’s “My Way To You” is top dollar for me.
        But like mentioned in another replies, where one is in their relationships in life will make or break a love song for the listener too.

  • Not the worst song, but definitely a terrible video……I honestly can’t believe it made it to a #1 spot on CMT, it looks like something somebody recorded with a cell phone or something with some cheesy sepia effects……wow, not too tough of a crowd at CMT I guess, which might indicate that people (the masses) are actually at least desiring/wanting something new/real/not-over-produced-garbage. Das good.

  • I like the song a lot. It’s no classic, but it’s way less sentimental than your average country love song. It’s also better written. I think this is a fair review, although I don’t completely agree. I’m assuming my recent change of heart on Shooter may be what you refer to at the start. I haven’t had a change of heart on most of Shooter’s earlier music – a lot of it is crap – but I have had a turn on him as a person …and his new album is firmly in the pocket for the kind of music I dig. I like the guy a lot, but I won’t stop picking on him at Farce the Music when he deserves it, or on the other hand, praising him when he deserves it.

    • Trailer,

      I wasn’t referring to you specifically, but more the general blogsphere which I would put you as a part of that also seems to have had a change of heart on Shooter in general. I’ve had a change of heart on Shooter from how I felt about him in the past as well, and no, not in a bad way, but probably not in the dramatic way some others have either. I just personally believe that the way he personalizes relationships with some media members may not lead to the most objective coverage. And when I say that, I think it’s a given I am not talking about Farce the Music, who is an equal opportunity antagonizer, and fans of Farce The Music wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • Can’t we all just get along?

  • I think the song’s alright, I’ve heard better and I’ve heard worse. But the comments are baffling to me. As far as I’m concerned you’ve always been fair in your reviews. It’s ridiculous that people are bashing you for giving the song a positive review.
    I’m a Hank3 fan, as far as I really like his early stuff, but after STH it kinda went down hill and hit bottom with Ghost to a Ghost. I’ve never really liked Shooter though. I mean I liked Outlaw You as far as the message and it being accessible to mainstream fans, but his music really hasn’t impressed me that much.
    I just don’t understand why you saying there’s something wrong with a song automatically makes it a Shooter vs. Hank3 argument. It’s stupid.

    • I also don’t get how Hank3 gets brought into this. Especially after his GTAG album was given a 2.5 rating and nearly every song on it was blasted in the review… I read the review of this song and put off readng any of the comments because I knew they’d be ridiculous. I knew I’d disagree with both sides of this argument. I still haven’t bothered to listen to the song in question. Shooter hasn’t put anything out that makes me feel like I am missing anything by not rushing to hear this track. I really do like that he has started to support some of the truly good underground artists though. I remember listening to his show 2 – 3 years ago and it seemed like more half-assed rock bands being promoted than anything. No two people are gonna agree on every bit of music so I think it’s unfair to rip XXX for it supporting the drinkin’/druggin’/ and devil worshippin’ type stuff. They also support alot of really cool stuff that most everyone in the underground would dig. I also still keep reading Hank3 bashers ripping his lack of love songs and saying that he mostly sings about the the 3 Ds… I hear love songs and variety myself so what would be the proper quotient? Should we all hate Will Whitmore for singing about rural farm life so much?

  • Shooter just doesn’t have the voice or the songwriting ability. Appreciate his effort in returning to a traditional sound but this song just isn’t very good. Didn’t make me feel anything, except embarrassed by some of the lyrics silliness.

    I’m a rabid Waylon fan but hey thats just the truth.

  • I think this was a fair review from the reviewers ears.
    Thats probably the best thing about music; We all tend to lean towards certain sounds and our current enviroment and mood can and will influnce how we react to a song.

    I think Shooter getting played on CMT is a great thing; I had my grandfather ask me if I had ever heard of him, the song made him think of my grandmother whos been gone for a couple years. My point here is if this song brings people to shooters website; I believe shooter does a good job of pointing people to others.

    I dont think when someone is helping your goal it could be a bad thing.

    sometimes the music isent for everyone.

  • You really expect me to attach my real email with you getting the law involved on everything? You must be insane. Oh wait, you are. Why have you not posted my last two posts? Why did you erase Zach’s post? You have problems bro, admit it. You are trying to bring down a good man that supports artists. Get help, post my last 3 comments and be a man. Floristman.

  • I haven’t really seen genuine ignorance until I read shit from AdamSheets.

    • Yeah, he seemed to comment on this forum for the specific purpose of inciting stuff that doesn’t apply here at all. I don’t like this song so therefore everything I like must be about devils and whiskey.

      “As for the rest of the review, I don’t disagree with it, but at the same time I think that had a different artist recorded this song it would be hailed by some as a masterpiece and a change of pace that shows they’re not all about devil worshiping and heavy metal.”

      Honestly if Hank put this out I would have harsh words for him. This would come totally out of left field. This is more Shooter style (not a bad style by any means, just different) though I think he can do MUCH better (Outlaw You, for example). This particular song sounded too poppy for my tastes.

      Maybe the vocal minority doesn’t like Coe or Haggard, but something tells me most who like Hank 3 like Haggard (It’s Not Love (But It’s Not Bad), Always Wanting You, Carolyn, to name a few) and Coe (Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone), Lately I’ve Been Thinking Too Much Lately, ect…).

      The really ironic part is he is as big of a brown noser of Shooter as the vocal minority is of Hank.

  • lol, and Andy apparently

  • […] “Anything Shooter Jennings poops out” […]

  • You guys take this shit too serious. I just come to this page in search of some good music I can listen to when I am having my Makers&Coke.

    • Amen to that James!!!

  • hey triggerman, i’m happy to see that we have almost the same opinion about shooter nowadays.
    i still think that all he does is to try to push his own music and image. he doesn’t want just the faceless CMT listener as a fan, he also wants the real dedicated underground fans who are much better supporters and make him look cool and keen. but the problem is the underground and shooter jennings have nothing in common. he loves to sit around with hank jr. and jamey johnson on CMT or shoot music videos that get chart positions instead of getting on the road and playing shows in small locations and bars to meet the underground. also the music itself is kind of poppy and mainstream orientated. maybe he wants it like that or he just can’t do better. for me it feels calculated and not from the heart. maybe it’s just the polished production of his stuff that destroys the soul of the music. i don’t know, but i just “don’t feel” those songs.
    and being married to a famous actress isn’t a symbol for underground too, but it’s a sign for his social environment. you find girls like her on celebrity parties and not on a wayne hancock show…
    i also like your sentence “He can build all the little satellite web properties he wants, and do all manner of behind-the-scenes nation building (which at this point has had mixed results at best), but in the end, it comes down to the music.” because that’s what he does in my eyes: trying to do all those “awesome music fans” he dicovered a favour, in exchange for that they like him too. i don’t blame any of my friends who are writing for those websites or running a podcast there, as long as they represent their own opinions and don’t just try to satisfy the sponsor.

    for me the underground will always be those people whose lifes are dedicated to music and not to their status in the media. they can be seen from the fact that they tour their whenever they can, they don’t care if they play in front of 10 or 1000 people and they accept restrictions in their personal life to get their music onto the stages of this world.

    as soon as shooter spends the night on the couch in my basement after a show in front of 100 people here in my hometown (like so many others did), he will be accepted in “my underground scene” too… ; )

    PS: shooter, if you read this, it’s nothing personal. i don’t know you and you may be a good guy, but from my point as a “dedicated underground music fan”, things look just like that.

    • and there ya have it…

    • You stole the words right out of my head, Heinrich. Well said!

    • Heinrich is my German Hero.

  • ‘just ok’, pretty much sums it up for me as well. if this video were what i had to base my buying the new cd or or passing on it i’d have to pass. nice song but nothing memorable.

  • When listening to this song, I thought of a John Prine song in the same vein called “She Is My Everything” and the notion that sometimes less is more. Mr Prine’s song is quite tender, but there’s also some humor in there. The message definitely comes through, though. I think Shooter’s song goes just a little overboard with the luvvy duvvy lyrics, however sincere they are.

  • I’m not a big fan of Shooter’s music, and this song will not change that. Like Bob Wayne puts it: Lovesongs Suck.
    And I find it hard to relate this song to the XXX-movement, but I guess you’ve got to shoot to be able to score, and maybe this indirectly will get more attention for the underground country scene. I recently downloaded the Southern Independent-compilations from his site, and there’s some very fine music on them. And let’s be honest, if the Hank3-following is not the best promotion for real country, it would be just as boring if we got a lot of pseudo-Shooters. The diversity of the underground scene is what makes it interesting, it’s mostly small players, who will not get their podium on country radio. I like Shooter for his efforts on the web, and I like to think that underground artists benefit from that.
    I went to a Dale Watson-gig last week (who by the way announced a second Sun Sessions-cd, already 11 songs written for it), and he has done some positive lovesongs over the years. I’ve heard a lot, and they are just a part of the whole spectrum, like drinking songs, you name it. I like a little drama in my lyrics.
    When you said that the stickers on his guitar might not draw any attention for Josephus, it draw my attention to the other stickers, and one of them, the green one, is for Coffeeshop The Grasshopper in Amsterdam. Which I can tell you is the absolute mainstream of softdrugs. Big commercial place, where you pay too much for average quality. Not underground at all.

  • Gonna disagree, I absolutely love this song. I could hear this song being played on country radio in the 60’s or 70’s easy.

  • Am I the only one who tries to like Shooter but just can’t get over the fact that he can’t sing anywhere as good as his father? I know that it is unfair and probably irrelevant to make the comparison, but I can’t help it. I know people bring up the Hank Sr. and Hank Jr. situation, but I don’t agree as I think that Hank Jr. was probably a better singer than his father. (Waylon shared this opinion).

    • You are not the only one that says that and I’m sure Shooter is aware that he doesn’t sing as well as his father. I just try to remember how tough it must be for the son of someone that great who has his own greatness in him as well. The first Shooter album had to grow on me a bit and as time has gone on I’ve stopped comparing them.

  • Interesting review. I feel like the review of the music is fair. Some of the digs about his fiance possibly helping the video to do well and the web properties I didn’t like to read in this review (probably better saved for another type of thread or something only in my opinion). Mainly because those things don’t deal much with the actual song review. I think the web properties exist to expose people to music. If he wants to start some stuff and try and help people out that’s fine. Your site may never make a movement huge but at least this site and others give some artists a few outlets to hopefully get their music heard. I don’t think Shooter is aiming to make a movement with Family Man…I think he’s just making his album. If the music is genuine that’s all I can really ask for.

    On some of the other controversial comments made about Shooter, the review, etc… I’ll add my two cents on some of the comments:

    To people saying he’s not helping the underground because he’s not sleeping on your couch, etc… You can’t deny he’s doing things he doesn’t have to. To anyone saying he’s not out supporting the little guy he’s playing the Farmageddon Festival this year and a ton of people are excited about it and will probably go just because of him. He definitley does not have to do that show and I’m guessing he could easily tour with someone from the mainstream country elite or appear at a bigger event if he chose.

    I mean you can’t help who your family is and some people get more advantages than others…that’s how it is with everyone. People like Hank III and Shooter Jennings will usually get a little more publicity in the mainstream than say someone like Jayke Orvis (even though he may be just as good). That’s just how it is. I mean it’s everywhere in music. One example recently is Joey Armstrong (Billie Joe Armstrong’s son) had his dad produce his album and the video got played on MTV because he was the son of the singer of Green Day. His album was reviewed everywhere. Now I don’t take offense to him taking the help from his dad and I know if I was in his position I’d certainly take any help I could get. Will he have to put in the hard labor of the DIY punk scene (or pop-punk scene haha)? In truth he won’t be as hard for him as it was for some. That doesn’t mean at the end of the day he’s not making genuine music or sincere about his music.

    I think this will be an interesting release for Shooter. I don’t know if it is make or break…but I do think people are really invested in their expectations of what they want to hear from it. I’m looking forward to it. I try not to let my dealing with Shooter sway how I feel about his music (although he has been nothing but kind to my site and magazine and I think that’s great and his support has been greatly appreciated it). I like the song. I need to hear the whole album before I make my final judgment…but out of all the newer songs I might like this one the best. I’ve always been an album guy so I’m ready to hear the song in the context of the album. I’d love to hear some southern rockish ones like on Electric Rodeo on this album as well. Electric Rodeo is my favorite album of his.

    Side-note the album artwork for this is great. I really like it.

    • Well first off, no “digs” were made at Drea whatsoever, and I don’t appreciate that characterization of my comments, or understand how they can be taken that way. I gave Shooter and Blake Judd (who made the video) credit for using that tool in their arsenal to create greater appeal and I think it was both intelligent and effective and I said as much without minced words.

      As for the peripheral things being mentioned in a song review, many people know that this is my normal style, I use my reviews and really all of my content to comment on greater issues in music and life just like many other writers do, and this is nothing out of the ordinary whatsoever.

      As for Shooter and his intentions, you have to understand that at this point, he has become what I would rate “extremely polarizing”. I am not saying I agree with this viewpoint, but no matter what he does, many folks are going to see him doing all this XXX stuff, playing Farmageddon Fest, etc., as a selfish attempt for him to develop grass roots for himself and exploit the infrastructure of underground country and place himself in the top spot vacated by Hank3. And so it doesn’t matter what Shooter’s “intentions” are, perception is what is important.

      And when you have released a compilation with a tank pointed at the Country Music HOF on the front, when you call your movement “XXX”, when you host podcasters on your web property that refer to women as “cunts” and ones that sells T-shirts saying “Shanking Country Music”, and when the lieutenants of that movement continuously talk down to people and you insult people in your branding, then yeah, people’s perceptions may be a little different than you want them to be.

      I don’t give a shit what someone’s intentions are. I hope nobody judges me on my intentions, but my effectiveness. I’m glad that Shooter wants to help. Whether he actually has is another story. When it comes to Saving Country Music and the community I had built around this site, Shooter and XXX have undeniably hurt. Luckily, from being honest instead of sensational, it hasn’t effected the overall viability or appeal of the site as a whole. But just like other folks who may seem to have a “beef” with Shooter, it is important for me to make no doubt in people’s minds that I do not associate with some of the behavior that Shooter condones, either directly, or by hosting it on one of his web properties.

      If Shooter really wanted to make a difference, the first thing he needs to do is drop the bullshit, and let loose all the bad people he has surrounded himself with.

      • When are you going to admit that you are just asspained because Shooter pretty much overtook the movement that your delusional ass thinks you started? He’s got more people into this type of music and more recognition for the artists than you have. Deal with it. Just because he has a famous last name doesn’t mean that he’s doing this for personal gain.

        I’ve sat by idly while you berated shooter every chance you have gotten since XXX started and you know damn well it’s because you feel like he hijacked your movement. Drop the ego, you fucking chode.

        • You understand that this was a positive review for “The Deed & The Dollar”, correct? Now I did have some critical things to say, but I think I was very fair and forthright with my opinions, including the one that this song has some positives and virtually no negatives. You understand that the last review I wrote for Shooter was 100% positive, for “Outlaw You”, which I loved, right? And the last review I wrote before that was a Shooter live review, which I also gave a positive review to.

          Shooter and I also correspond regularly, and are quite amicable towards each other. I’m sorry that Adam Sheets and a few others came here and through mischaracterizing my readers turned this discussion negative. BUt the polarizing environment you painted just doesn’t exist.

          “you berated shooter every chance you have gotten since XXX started

          That is just not true and I am not going to succumb to being polarized to an extreme that doesn’t exist. Part of the problem here is that there are fans that come in here like this and polarize the two sides instead of trying to bridge understanding.

          Yes, I and many others have been critical of XXX, but as you prove here, many folks have been unfairly critical of me as well. The difference is that I embrace criticism, I thrive off it, and attempt to learn from it, I thirst for it. On the contrast, XXX has taken any and all criticism as simply being “negative” instead of listening to it and learning from it, and not allowing itself to make the same mistakes again and again. If XXX is ever going to build a consensus, it is going to have to start learning, and listening to the criticism coming in instead of laughing it off as bullshit based in jealousy, or whatever. Saving Country Music doesn’t have to build a consensus. I just have to give my opinions and be as honest as I can. If those opinions want to be taken as bitterness, then that’s your loss. Even criticism as extreme and ridiculous as yours I try to learn from.

    • @Sound In The Signals Magazine Well said. This album, from the bits I’ve heard (iTunes previews, a streaming online concert, a couple youtube videos, and the two songs already relaesed) will not be southern rock at all though. Its going to be throwback country. I respect the fact that Shooter never makes the same album twice. As a listener I would get bored hearing the same album over and over again, and as a fan I respect the fact that he doesnt want to repeat himself and always stays fresh with his sound.

  • I didn’t say digs at her directly more on how you viewed the video’s success. A dig on the success of the video meaning this quote: “It’s certainly an accomplishment worth noting, and it was likely helped along by the smart choice of including shots of Shooter’s celebrity fiance Drea de Matteo in it.”

    I didn’t say dig at his fiance. I more or less said a dig at the concept of the video. I said: “his fiance possibly helping the video to do well”

    So I think maybe you misunderstood what I was trying to say. I don’t think you said a negative thing about her. You did however imply that some of the success of the video just could have been Shooter and the director’s choice to include her. I took that as a sort of dig at the popularity of the video and why it was popular in the first place.

    I think Shooter vs Hank III discussion has always made both of those artist polarizing to a degree.

    There is some truth to this perception and why it may cause him to be polarizing…but to be fair Trigger you do plenty of talking down to people. You may call it defending but some of your more recent articles definitley seem to be bitter. That is the perception I have. The first two paragraphs of this review set you apart from bloggers and really talk down to them. I mean in the wake of XXX you have become a really polarizing figure as well. Some people might even say what you are doing is hurting the underground perception as much (Not me. I think different opinion is fine. I also don’t think we all have to get along). Hey I have no problem with any of you guys. I am my own entity and web property. I just see you say one thing and critisize people for it then do something similar and try to justify it.

    • I also think it’s fine to critique the video and make assumptions about it. I guess I would have called this a song/video review…instead of just a song review (that’s my opinion though and probably nitpicking a little).

    • I disagree that I talk down to people. I am honest with people, and a lot of folks can’t handle that. But I think being honest with someone is the ultimate sign of respect. I said what I said about other bloggers because I believe it and it is my honest opinion. Is it disrespectful? Not if it is true. Is it true? I think it is. That’s why I said it, and I stand behind it.

      And of course I am a very polarizing figure, and I was polarizing for years before XXX even existed. But the difference here is I am not an artist, at least in this context, and I’m not trying to build a consensus. My job is to be as honest about my opinions as I can possibly be. That’s my job. I also don’t represent anyone but myself, and I certainly don’t represent any “scene” as some people have tried to frame me in, and then get angry when I don’t behave in that manner.

      Bitterness and jealousy are accusations that are leveled at me often, and they are never true. Arrogant? Opinionated? Make mountains out of molehills? Sure, I can go there. But what exactly do I have to be bitter about?

      And as far as underground perception, my perception is that the underground is either dying, or dead, and it may be mere weeks before I declare it as such. Too much bad music, too much divisiveness that was initiated by XXX. About the only thing keeping it alive is the blues, and if I were the blues guys, I would be getting as far away as I could from underground country right now. It has become a joke, and so addled with parody because folks aren’t willing to speak up, and because some of the entities that exist to promote it work on a quid pro quo basis with bad bands. You push our branding, we’ll push your shitty music. It’s become a joke, and I feel really bad for the excellent artists that are getting lumped in with all the chaff.

      • If you have an honest opinion that’s fine, but by accusing every blog of being a Shooter lover you are talking down to those who review his music (like it or hate it) on an honest level. I would never give Shooter a positive review I feel he didn’t deserve. Do I like Shooter yes I tend to and I liked his music and Hank III long ago before there was any of the stuff going on that is now. My like for his music certainly has nothing to do with the fact he’s supported my site. I don’t like every song he’s ever written. I just try and be honest. So here is one blogger that is just out there supporting music he likes and that’s it. No secret pact to give him good reviews. Nothing of the sort. I listen and if I like it cool. If not I move on to other things.

        I think a lot of people bring up the jealousy and bitterness thing because you are constantly talking about Shooter and his internet properties, how you’ll out-write all their writers, how you know why Shooter setup Moonrunners. I mean it just comes off as a internet match of words on who has the better know all and right to run a music website. Honestly you both have the right and you’ve both written some interesting pieces of writing. After reading what you wrote I think you accurately described what you do better than the words bitter or jealous. So I’ll go with you on those statements. I think the changing move of underground country has effected you greatly and soured you a lot. If I’m reading into what you are saying correctly. That stinks.

        As far as XXX I honestly can’t see much negative about it as a whole (I haven’t had much negativity shown to me or have had any artist I’ve worked with talk negatively about it to me). I mean it’s one or two websites and there are tons on the internet. A lot of people seem to be on board and think it is at least doing some good (in my opinion only). I can definitely see how you think it negatively effected your site in your eyes (and some of your opposition tend to believe the negative effect on your site is because of you and how you interact with people). I have no clue which is the real truth, but I won’t deny there is more negativity here then when I first started coming here….but to be fair the air around underground country has changed a lot over the last year or so and it has expanded a lot as well. I have no clue what the real deal is. There seems to be a lot of positive stuff and negative stuff on this site. As far as anything that’s not really debatable most of your post seem to go off without a hitch. Some of the more adverse topics get an adverse reaction that is just the way the internet is and hot topic issues are met with adverse conversation.

        Other than you and this site who else do you believe XXX has excluded and has been divisive to? To be fair didn’t everyone involved with XXX praise you originally and want to include you and help promote you?

        • First of man, there’s sarcasm, and that’s where those first few sentences about the bloggers came from. I was making light of the fact that so many folks have been swayed by Shooter Jennings recently. Another blog, Farce the Music came here, and we had a good chuckle over it. But one of the reasons it’s funny is because it’s rooted in truth. It’s my opinion. I have yet to hear from anyone who has been offended by it. If you were, I apologize.

          “you are constantly talking about Shooter and his internet properties, how you’ll out-write all their writers”

          I “constantly” talk about him? Are you fucking kidding me? The last time I talked about Shooter at length on the blog was 4 months ago. As far as talking about his internet properties, that was about 4 months ago through Twitter and was encapsulated in about 5 Tweets. I’m afraid your absolutes just don’t make any sense man. I can’t help it if the only time you interface with me is when Shooter is brought up, but you need to shake yourself out of your narrow reality tunnel and understand I publish an average of 7 blogs a week, and 99% of them have had absolutely nothing to do with Shooter or XXX.

          And along the lines of your reality tunnel, I will assert with vehemence that the majority of people who know about Shooter, have an unfavorable opinion of him for many reasons. There’s a big sect of Eric Church and Jason Aldean fans who hate Shooter because they think “Outlaw You” was specifically about those artists. There are THOUSANDS of Waylon fans who hate Shooter because he “went rock” and in their opinion has wholeheartedly mismanaged Waylon’s legacy. There are tons of fans that have a very specific bitch that Shooter has exploited Waylon’s website. I could forward you the emails of people calling ME, not Shooter, me as “illegitimate” to be “saving country music” because I refuse to call Shooter out for mismanaging the Waylon estate. There are tons of people pissed about this new Waylon tribute including Colt Ford and Justin Moore, and fair or not, they blame Shooter. Oh, and how about Shooter allowing a Waylon song to be rapped over. I’m sure the rednecks in the deep South are THRILLED about that.

          “how you’ll out-write all their writers”

          It’s true man, I do outwrite their writers. I think that’s pretty obvious. I’m not sure what you want me to say here. If that makes me look arrogant, oh well. I never tweeted that or made a big deal about that. I said that as a response to someone in a comment thread.

          “there is more negativity here then when I first started coming here”

          Yet all I constantly do is talk about Shooter. Clearly man you are not qualified enough to make this judgement because you come here through the filter of XXX. This is a typical complaint I get on here about how “all” I do is one thing, but its funny how I never see those people comment on my album reviews, interviews, features, think pieces, news stories, etc that make up the vast majority of SCM content.

          But aside from all of that, I’m drawing a line in the fucking sand right here on this “I’m always negative” and “XXX is positive” line of fucking bullshit. Who are the motherfuckers that pointed a tank at the Hall of Fucking Fame? Who called out Hillgrass Bluebilly Records on their first fucking comp? Who included a shot at me in their initial branding of Moonrunners? Whose lieutenant is talking down to Dierks Bentley and his fans, and Hank3 fans, and my readers, claiming their ignorant on the history of country music right here on this very fucking article? Who is harboring podcasters that regularly refer to women as “cunts”? It ain’t fucking me man, it’s XXX. Who the fuck is selling a T-shirt saying “Shanking Country Music” with two shanks coming down? Not me my friend.

          And I’m tired of these assholes who come to country from the outside looking in saying, “Well it was a joke.” Well I’m not fucking laughing. I happen to find it very negative, but when I fight against, I’m the one who gets accused of being “negative.”

          What is positive about this image? Tell me. The name of this website is Saving Country Music. And if you do not have an issue with this image, then I don’t fucking want you on this website!

          • First off. Once and for all I am under no XXX filter I have an honest opinion just like you. I’m allowed to make my own observations and analyze things the way I want to. I am my own internet property. I never said XXX was 100% positive. I know some people affiliated have said negative things about you and don’t like you. I never said XXX was 100% positive and I have no clue where you came up with that. I was making a point to say why your site may have negativity on it. It may be XXX I said that. I also said it may be the way you talk to people and interact with them. I know I’ve seen you call people by plenty of choice names. I have no narrow tunnel. In fact I think my view is sometimes the least narrow and I try to make it a fair assessment of things before I ever post anything on this site or any site on the internet. Like I said I have no problem with anyone and I like this site. I also like other sites and encourage anyone who loves music to write about it.

            I see comments you make all the time in your threads about Shooter and his “internet properties” or people related to him and his “internet properties”. Definitely in the last four months I’ve seen it for sure. Maybe not specific post about Shooter but comments about him in threads all the time.

            I post in tons of threads. Earlier today I posted in your local musician thread (and it had nothing to do with anything Shooter related). Interesting and odd you never responded to me on my thoughts about that (something not related to Shooter at all), but you were more than happy to talk about the juicy controversial stuff in this thread. I’ve posted in your best of album threads. Countless other threads. I even posted on my site about your best of album list. I’m not on a I hate SCM rant and never have been. So you saying I’m only talking in Shooter threads just isn’t true. I think we’ve had plenty of back and fourths that have nothing to do with anything related to XXX. Like I said once before I sent you an interview after you agreed to do it (a positive interview…nothing to do with XXX) and it was never returned. So how do I only talk negative stuff in Shooter threads. We talked a long while before the whole XXX thing even surfaced about doing an interview for the magazine (you e-mailed me remember saying you wanted to do it). So how I’m only negative and narrow minded I have no clue. I’ve offered you the same opportunities the XXX affiliated get. The only difference is they returned the interview so I was able to publish it on my site (or in the magazine). You never returned yours so I was unable to post it on the site to support you in an unbiased manner. I just don’t get how I do all this stuff and you can call me narrow minded.

            On the XXX tank. I don’t think it isn’t meant to be literal. I think it is a metaphor…but you’d have to talk to the people who made that. Honestly I have no opinion of the artwork. If your offended I’ve got no problem with you finding it offense. So that’s where I’m at on that.

  • I also posted in your SOPA threads as well. Nothing to do with Shooter in those either.

    • Also to be fair to Trigger’s readers and show I am not bashing him without seeing what I’m seeing here is a quote from Trigger found in the Josh article that was posted only in January where Shooter was brought up and it includes the quote which I reference. In which he also Trigger references Shooter by name. This article was posted only one month ago not four:

      Comment: “He’s told me before that this saddens him, yet he’s chosen not to post articles over on “Moonrunners” about all this.”

      Trigger: He should post whatever he wants. We all know why Shooter set up Moonrunners. A dozen writers, and I’ll still outwrite them in quantity and quality.


      • I stand behind that comment 100%.

        The only point I was making about it was that I was not spouting off on Twitter or making a big deal about it, it was a passing comment in a long comment thread.

        One of the instigations of some of the Twitter drama that went down was when Jashie P said Moonrunners was the “only source” for information on this type of music. I challenged that, and took that as a shot at SCM and Sound in the Signals amongst many others. They were the ones that created a polarizing environment around their blog by taking a shot at me in their initial branding, which is a recurring theme throughout the XXX timeline, with their first comp, with the tank on their 3rd comp, with Outlaw Radio and their “Shanking Country Music” t-shirt. Where are the comparables coming from SCM? I simply try to defend the institutions I believe in, and then get framed for being “negative.” Do you know where XXX would be if not for these silly mistakes and immature shots? I probably would have signed the petition by now. Yet instead of taking responsibility for them they attempt to discredit their critics and never learn.

        This was the first interaction I had with Robert Dean, the main writer over at Moonrunners.

        Hey Triggerman, go fuck yourself.
        Love, Robert Dean.

        Never talked to the guy before, actually enjoyed some of his writing, and this is how my relationship with him opened up. Find anywhere where I have said “fuck you” or “go fuck yourself” or anything of the equivalent in any of my writing or comments.

        XXX has a people problem, and a respect problem. Or, maybe I’m just “negative”, and that’s all there is to it.

  • I don’t mind Shooters video or the song, it seems quite ok and I guess as an artist there’s always lovers and haters of your music… I think good on him for trying and at least he’s out there doing what he loves.

  • Here’s the line that really gets me in the review:

    “But in the end, it settled farther down the charts, probably where the song belongs.”

    The current top 5 videos on CMT.com are Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup,” Luke Bryan’s “I Don’t Want this Night to End,” Jana Kramer’s “Why Ya Wanna,” Miley Cyrus’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” (a poorly performed Dylan cover), and Jessie James’ “When You Say My Name.”

    Would the dude who is trying to save country music and constantly speaks out against pop country such as Miley Cyrus, wanna-be outlaws like Luke Bryan, and pure shit like “Red Solo Cup” please explain to me exactly why these songs, in his own words, should be ahead of “The Deed and the Dollar” on the charts.

    In reality, the only songs that should be competing with this one is Ronnie Dunn’s “Cost of Livin'” and Alan Jackson’s “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore.” But what the hell? At least Shooter’s song is “where it belongs,” well below “Red Solo Cup.”

    • Keep digging yourself a deeper hole Adam.

      I am not even sure why you are still here, or why you came here in the first place. You are not helping XXX, or yourself. This type of political spin job punditry is not only unhelpful, it is something people don’t want to see, and something I don’t appreciate you bringing to my website. You know I don’t support those songs.

      But now that you mention it, I think it is important to point out that “The Deed & The Dollar” is a mainstream song from a mainstream artist. The only reason it is on CMT is because Shooter has connections there. This isn’t some “great underground hope”, it is a pallid, soft, radio-friendly song done by a mainstream artists looking to rekindle his mainstream success that had some slight success from a smart video, but at the same time, fell short of mass appeal for various reasons. There’s nothing wrong with it being mainstream, but let’s call a spade a spade.

      In the end, I don’t give a fuck what goes down on CMT. They have been at the forefront of selling out America’s country culture and perpetuating the corporate country identity to create consumerism for years. If we can get some folks who deserve more exposure a lift through their portal, then yeah, I guess that’s a good thing. But “The Deed & The Dollar” is nothing I care about enough to get excited how it performs over there. It being 1st place on CMT is like winning the ugliest dog contest.

    • Hey Adam, last time we corresponded here you mentioned something about continuing to post comments but just avoiding the controversial ‘stuff’. I thought that was a brilliant idea. None of us like to see all this butting of heads, I can see both yourself and Trig are getting upset and it personally makes me really sad. I always really enjoy and appreciate it when you share your extensive music knowledge and would love to see you continue to do this. Cheers, Carla

  • Triggerman, while I have no issue really with your review on this song, I want you to know that you do come off as a major prick in your responses to people who critque your posts in any way. Yes, some of them do deserve it, but some I see no harm in what they said and were asking valid questions. I enjoy coming to this site and read pretty much every post you make, but I guess I am not welcome here anymore as I find no issue with that image from the XXX comp. To me, the image means they are calling war on Music Row in Nashville, and used the most recognizable image to illustrate this, not that tehy really wanted to bomb and blow up the CMHOF.

    Also (and I am paraphrasing here and not getting direct quotes) you asked when you have ever said something derogitory and in the vein of a “fuck off” or “fuck you”? What about the comments above where you said you didnt fucking want people on your site? I really took big offense to that. You ask for respect from XXX as you never even talked with that person before, but earlier in the comments you talk about how you look down on all other bloggers and think that talking to them shittily is “respect”. Let me use a Pixar movie to show you that just because you might be better you should hold your tongue and respect your elders. A hotshot roookie racecar meets the living legend multi time championship winner, instead of being polite and respectful, he talks down to him and because he is better NOW that he can blow him off. Dead wrong, you gotta show respect in order for others to respect you.

    In short Trig, I really enjoy coming here and getting some new music to check out and getting your opinion, but your attitude in the comments on this one really make me feel unwelcome. Please let me know what I should do.

    • Self,

      Obviously you are still welcome here and I would hate to lose you as a reader. I think what you should do is continue reading my blogs, but I might be a little bias. ;)

      I will say that I personally thought I went a little overboard last night with Sound In The Signals. If I had to do it over, I may have not have been so harsh, but that’s what I was feeling at the time, and I’m not going to go back and change it now because I don’t believe in doing that.

      The reason I went overboard is because 1) I’m a passionate person no matter what I’m doing, and if I attempt to curtail my passion about one thing, it would probably curtail passions for other things, like writing positive reviews or keeping this site going. 2) I am just about at wit’s end with being called “negative”, specifically from XXX when much of my “negativity” has been a reaction to direct shots at either me or other entities or people I respect. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I haven’t been negative or hard on XXX all by myself. Of course I have, but that is because it is worth criticising and because XXX has caused some direct harm to me and this website. I also think I have been fair with XXX and Shooter specifically. Remember, this was a positive review. I think that got lost somewhere.

      “you talk about how you look down on all other bloggers and think that talking to them shittily is “respect””

      I respectfully disagree with that characterization of my comments. I don’t think I would ever say anything close to how I “look down at other bloggers.” One of the things that has been frustrating for me, specific to the issue with “Moonrunners” is that I was characterized as wanting to be the only source for info on this type of music when I criticized a very specific issue with their initial branding when I had on good authority was targeted at me (whether it is true or not). I have written for the9513.com, ninebullets.net, outlawmagazine.com, rnzmagazine.com, The Rambler Zine, and many other periodicals and blogs over the years, and I respect anyone who decides to take up a pen and do something. I think the more writers there are, the better. This recurring theme in XXX of calling out people in their branding came up yet again recently, and I am going to take exception to it every time I see it because it is hurting the movement.

      I understand how I come across as condescending sometimes when disagreeing with commenters. Part of the reason for that is by nature, I am a very sarcastic individual. This is a problem in all of my writing in fact. Sometimes I come across as derogatory, when really I’m just trying to be funny. I am very careful when using profanity these days. I use it to let folks know I am at the height of my passion, and that I’m not being sarcastic.

      A theme that has kept occurring in these comments is one of criticism. I promise you, I take every comment on this site seriously, especially the criticism, and there’s nothing I cherish more that healthy, constructive, and pointed criticism, which I feel your comment qualifies as. I have never claimed to be perfect. What I continue to try to convey to XXX, is they must take a similar stance to criticism. They must embrace and listen to it if they are ever going to build consensus, instead of looking at it all as “negativity”.

      I am truly not trying to brag here but SCM has become a very big site in the overall country music world in the last few years, and trust me, it is not because I’ve laughed off all my criticism. If you read some of my blogs from 2008, you would laugh. I have completely changed my style, from listening to criticism and evolving to the changing music environment. But my underlying goal is never to become more “influential” or to continue the upward trend as far as traffic to the site as much as it is to be honest about my feelings and opinions. That is the biggest measurement I make of myself. As long as I’m being honest, I have done my job. Whether people like it, agree with it, are insulted by it, I really can’t control. I don’t want to insult or offend anybody, but sometimes it happens, or it’s necessary.

      I will take your criticism of being too condescending to disagreeing commenters to heart. And I hope you stay.

      • Thanks for getting back to me on this and seeing that it really was meant as constructive criticism. I agree that you should not go back and edit your comments. Nothing makes someone look worse than going back and editing comments to make them look better. Most everyone can see that what went on was actually called for. I don’t know much about the XXX movements sites, Ive been to the main site where they just have the albums they consider XXX and thats it. I have never been to moonshiner or whatever it is. I never even knew they had a blog for the movement.

        Yeah, you have been hard on Shooter before, but at those times it was called for. You also have given positive reviews of him. This and Outlaw You both got positive reviews. Just because of his famous last name he should not have a free pass. You have been harder on him than of Hank as some people have pointed out, but when you listen to the two, there is a big difference in style of music. I just chalk it up to the fact that you prefer the style Hank III does. You arent given anyone a free pass and that really is what is fair. Just like some people prefer Waylon to Merle, you prefer Hank3 to Shooter. No harm there.

        I will continue to come here, and comment when I feel I have something constructive to the conversation. Keep taking the criticism to heart to better yourself. Remember not everyone is looking to start trouble, and might just be looking for you to explore more of what they questioned and mean no harm in it. I’m sure you by now know who the trouble makers are and I personally wouldnt bother responding to the shit they stir publicly on here. Send an email to them if they question you, but dont go down to their level. I assume most of your readers can tell the difference between honest discussion and just trolling you to get a heated response.

  • Some folks come here to read articles. Some come to start problems. Some just want to be heard. I don’t agree with some of the opinions but they are just that. You can always start your own blog and hope people care enough to read it. Let’s keep personal beefs personal. If you don’t like the site stay off it. If you like opposing sites then visit both. It’s not that big a deal. Maybe read an article then get off your ass and go to a show. This of course is just my opinion.

    • Hear, hear Muddy roots. Nicely said.

  • The song and video made me cry! What a poignant, incandescent love letter to his beautiful fiance. If it bought tears to my eyes, I would just love to know how she reacted when she first heard it. Adam, do you know?

  • I’m one of the weirdos that’s a fan of a LOT of people, and two of my favorites are Shooter and Hank III. They are two totally different things, really can’t be compared. As far as Hank III, “Straight To Hell” is still his greatest album to me. I’ll be glad to hear something else he does hit me upside the head the way that album did. As far as Shooter is concerned, I’m hoping his new album ends up his finest. Triggerman, I can completely see where you are coming from with your review of “The Deed And The Dollar”. It’s not the greatest thing I’ve ever heard but I was glad to hear it. I’m a sucker for songs that feel like that. I’m a bit confused with the XXX format Shooter has introduced us to as I was and still am with Americana. To me there’s no definition of what it is. I read what it is, but when I look at the artists listed I just get annoyed. I’m afraid that I don’t have a hell of a lot of faith that it will end up being much more than a dumping ground for folks that just simply aren’t very good. Country music as a genre is so horrible right now I see the need for an alternative, but where is the quality control? I find myself with nowhere to go for my own music which has been a problem since I started. I’m the opposite of the punk/devil worship thing, I’m not a retro guy, I’m not willing to sell my soul to Nashville as I could have done and be Mr Slick, but at the same time I want to make records where I actually do good vocals and have good guitar tones and create good solos…everybody try to be in tune…all the amazing shit you’re supposed to do to make country music in my mind. As I work on my new album, I’m just sitting here going “Damn wtf man?” I’m a bit burned out right now so I hope I made some kind of sense in this post.

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