Sassy is not a term usually associated with rocker Shooter Jennings, but Electric Rodeothe follow-up to his 2005 debut, Put the O Back in Country, is a sassy blend of country and rock. The foundations for a great country album are all in place: a legendary name, heavy open chords, wide swinging choruses and lyrics about (of course), drinking, women and having a good time. The honky tonk on this album sounds classic and, most importantly, authentic. And, growing up with a father who was an asset to country music, Shooter can't help but write songs like an experienced country musician.
Electric Rodeo changes pace from the accentuated hip-hop partying of Big and Rich, or pro-Bush rhetoric of Toby Keith, breathing fresh air back into the roots and soul of county music. Jennings' roots might be in country, but his rock influence shines through, lifting the up-beat tracks and carrying the ballads to the promised land (which is probably somewhere in Texas).
Jennings has made an album to be proud of, but isn't above using his famous last name to get noticed and does a great job of making sure listeners don't forget who he is. If the resemblance to Waylon and the last name aren't enough for audiences, the consistent reminders--like T-shirts that read "What Would Waylon Do?"--and songs where the younger Jennings sounds just like his father, should be. Even on the album's final track "It Ain't Easy," Jennings reflects on his father's life and death. Shooter Jennings is out to have a good time and make his self-proclaimed "music I like," but can he break the shackles of a famous last name to earn respect in the music community? Based on Electric Rodeo, yep.
Editor's Note: Jennings brings his country/rock to the Big Easy stage on May 26 at 8 p.m. Tickets are only $12.50, so for just a Jackson you can drink a couple o' brews and a shot of Jack and listen to one of music's best bad boys .