With the Hall of Fame-caliber legacy Waylon Jennings left behind, with all the noise still made about him by traditional and Outlaw performers and their fans, and even by modern-day mainstream performers looking to lend a bit of country cred to their otherwise flimsy country music resumes, you would think the final resting place of Waylon would be a bigger deal.
We bitch, we moan, we criticize, we celebrate the symbolic little victories that give us hope that a sea change for country music is imminent, or at least slowly taking hold, even though in many respects things only seem to get worse every year. And we look for ways to implement meaningful solutions to the problems plaguing country music so it can once again become a medium of creativity.
I believe it was the Buddha who once said “life is suffering.” And though you would think mainstream country artists who make their living playing music to massive audiences, they have problems too apparently, and recently the biggest one appears to be having to play music that fits within the confines of the country music genre. Oh, the horror.
“. . . we play all of our own instruments, we write the best songs that we can, and we put harmony on the songs, we have a real band,” Zac Brown said in response to Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind of Night” not two years ago. And now the exact criticisms he leveled at Luke Bryan could be leveled at him. But they won’t be.
The comparisons of Sturgill Simpson to Waylon Jennings never cease, even though in some instances they’re based on pretty shallow and misguided observations. That’s why it’s probably pretty understandable if Sturgill is tired of hearing about them at this point. In a recent interview with Foo Fighters guitarist and Dead Peasants frontman Chris Shiflett (listen in full below), Sturgill once again answered the Waylon comparisons.
Dear Luke Bryan, Thanks for taking the time to read my letter, if in fact you do so. I can only imagine the time constraints a man of your success has, and you’ve already been taking of your time over the last few days to help clear up a mess that I guess I had some part in creating.
Aaron Watson, Blackberry Smoke, Blake Shelton, Dallas Davidson, Florida Georgia Line, Gary Overton, George Strait, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Hill, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Sam Hunt, Sturgill Simpson, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Luke Bryan has called Waylon Jennings’ widow Jessi Colter to apologize after he made comments characterizing Outlaw country artists as cocaine addicts “laying in the gutter, strung out on drugs.” Waylon’s son Shooter Jennings has also commented on the situation, saying, “It’s all flush in my book.”
Now one of the members of Waylon’s extended family has spoken out about Luke’s initial words and his apology. Kathy Pinkerman Jennings, who is the wife of one of Waylon Jennings’ sons Buddy Jennings, spoke out about the matter via Facebook initially on July 10th, and the posted a video to YouTube late Saturday night. Despite some media reports, Kathy Jennings makes it clear she is not speaking for the family.
So to give some historical context to Luke Bryan’s characterizations, I thought we would look back and see what Willie, Merle, and Waylon felt about cocaine. Willie hated the stuff, and would fire anyone in his crew caught using it. Merle barely touched it, except for one dalliance that ended poorly. And Waylon was a professed, long-term cocaine addict who openly expressed his struggles with the drug.
Being an Outlaw never had anything to do with arrest records or cocaine addictions. Anyone found on Willie Nelson’s crew with their nose in the powder was immediately fired. Being an Outlaw was about being yourself, insisting on having creative control of your music, and moving country music forward while still respecting the roots of the genre and all the greats that came before.
Gone are the days of Loretta Lynn singing “One’s On The Way.” Gone are the days of adult issues like divorce, resonating with mature audiences. Gone are the days of originality, not only in style but in songwriting. In that classic era you could tell the difference between Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. Artists were easily discernible and legends arose because of their unique qualities…
Randy Howard was killed on June 9th, 2015 in his log cabin home in Lynchburg, TN in a shootout with bounty hunters. They were serving a bench warrant stemming from a DUI Howard had been charged with that was likely going to be dismissed after the blood test came back proving he was below the legal limit. Randy Howard is gone but his music lives on for eternity, especially “All-American Redneck.”
Fresh off of his sold-out theater tour this late winter and spring, and a host of festival appearances at Coachella, Stagecoach, Bonnaroo, and others, insurgent country artist Sturgill Simpson has just announced a slew of new tour dates as part of his “Living The Dream Tour.” Focusing on theater-sized venues, a few choice opening spots, some more summer festivals….
A massive Waylon Jennings tribute show in Austin, TX has just been announced, and the lineup is something to salivate over. Set to transpire on July 6th and Austin’s Moody Theater (where Austin City Limits is taped), organizers Blackbird Music Group made use of the fact that many of the big names would already be […]
Austin, Billy Joe Shaver, Buddy Cannon, Chris Stapleton, Don Was, Eric Church, Jamey Johnson, Jessi Colter, Kacey Musgraves, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack, Moody Theater, Ryan Bingham, Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson, Toby Keith, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
The Ft. Worth Zoo is considered one of the Top 5 zoos in the United States, and the best zoo in Texas. And to show off a little bit of their Texas spirit, the zoo has decided to name two new arrivals after a couple of Texas musicians known for standing tall over the competition. After some careful consideration the Ft. Worth Zoo decided to name the brothers “Willie” and “Waylon” respectively.
Like rolling Buick sedans off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan one after another, day after day, year after year, not stopping to take breaks or reveling in little victories, but winning fans over one at a time, night after night, tour after tour in America’s derelict honky tonks until the word of mouth grew into a rumble, the crowds went from nearly empty to nut to butt, Whitey Morgan is now like a locomotive.
2015 is apparently the year to get paid in country music, and no stone is being left unturned, and apparently nobody is immune. From mainstream country artists who we once thought were the few remaining renegades with integrity that are now releasing trendy R&B singles, to some of our favorite country heroes’ faces, names, and songs ending up endorsing products or stamped on packaging.
Whitey has been telling fans to not expect the similar Waylon vibe of his last albums on Sonic Ranch, and we see this coming to fruition in this Townes cover. Expansive, epic, dynamic, and moving, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s really delve into the spirit of the song and make it sound new. And most importantly from a lead single, it gets you really excited about what Whitey has in store with the new release.
What should have been a mostly routine procedural event turned into a marathon court session as the prosecution and defense in the Wayne Mills murder trial tried to fill 12 juror slots and two alternates to hear the 2nd Degree Murder charges against bar owner Christopher Ferrell in a trial set to start the evidence phase Tuesday morning.
Musician, songwriter, and member of The Memphis Boys Bobby Emmons has passed away. Known for writing such iconic songs as the #1 hits by Waylon Jennings “Luckenbach, Texas” and “Wurlitzer Prize (I Don’t Want To Get Over You),” Tanya Tucker’s hit “Love Me Like You Used Too,” “So Much Like My Dad” by George Strait, and many more, he was also a well-respected musician…